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Trustee Honors Fr. Blaszczak With Naming of $500,000 Fund to Support ϲʹBellarmine Students

Trustee Honors Fr. Blaszczak With Naming of $500,000 Fund to Support ϲʹBellarmine Students

Fr. Gerry, Bishop Caggiano and President Nemec at the Bellarmine Campus ribbon cutting.

(l-r) Rev. Gerald Blaszczak, S.J.; The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport; and University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, at the fall 2023 Bellarmine Campus ribbon cutting ceremony.

In recognition of Fr. Blaszczak’s vision and advocacy for the ϲʹBellarmine program, University Trustee Bob Murphy ’71 has established the Gerald Blaszczak, S.J., Cura Personalis Fund to support Bellarmine students’ non-tuition needs.

Fr. Gerry's passion and commitment to the promise of the Bellarmine initiative was one of the major factors in making the program a reality.

— University Trustee Bob Murphy '71

Assistant to the President and Alumni Chaplain Rev. Gerald Blaszczak, S.J., has played a vital role in the planning and launch of ϲʹBellarmine, the associate’s degree program serving lower income students from the Greater Bridgeport area. As he departs the University for a new assignment, Fr. Blaszczak’s vision for the Bellarmine program to offer students "care for the whole person” will continue through the establishment of a cura personalis fund in his name. 

"Fr. Gerry's passion and commitment to the promise of the Bellarmine initiative was one of the major factors in making the program a reality," said University Trustee Bob Murphy '71. 

Murphy created the unrestricted Gerald Blaszczak, S.J., Cura Personalis Fund to provide resources for unexpected personal or family-related expenses students may face outside of the classroom. “The fund is core to our Jesuit mission and the call to minister to the whole person,” he said, “and Fr. Gerry is a living example of the power of that mission and ministry.”

Long before the first ϲʹBellarmine students began classes this past fall, Fr. Blaszczak envisioned a program instilled with “a spirit of familiaritas – where students would feel accepted and cared for, like part of a family." This spirit, he noted, was foundational to the first Jesuit schools of the sixteenth century, and remains the tradition by which modern Jesuit universities such as ϲʹdistinguish themselves.

“Bob Murphy shared that vision and was an advocate of 'wrap-around services' for ϲʹBellarmine students,” said Fr. Blaszczak. “I am immensely grateful that he has provided the resources to make it happen, and humbled that he would associate my name with this fund.”

His time on the North Benson campus may be drawing to a close, but Fr. Blaszczak’s work on behalf of Fairfield’s mission will continue. Nominated to become a member of the ϲʹ Board of Trustees, he said he looks forward to “continuing to work together with Dr. Nemec and the Board on our path toward greater service and greater excellence.”

“Accompanying people as they aspire to find God and meet God, and being with them as God looks to encounter them with the assistance of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius,” is how Fr. Blaszczak described his new assignment at the Gonzaga Eastern Point Retreat Center in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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