Decision reached by administration to rename Olivet St. Viator, its former name
The board of directors has decided that in Fall 2016, Olivet Nazarene University will return to being a Catholic campus.
Helping this transition to move along smoothly is the priest of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Father Richard Panini. “Olivet has such a rich history in Catholicism and I was glad to hear Olivet is going back to their roots,” Panini said.
According to Chaplain Matt Holycomb, starting in the fall, chapel will be held in Maternity BVM and referred to as Mass.
“We encourage students to worship in whatever way they feel led by the Spirit,” Holycomb said, “But we’re making the effort to educate students to worship and live their lives according to Catholicism.”
Holycomb predicts that the school will remain predominantly Nazarene when it comes to the denominational choice of students, but overtime most of the population will profess to be Catholic.
Arrangements are currently being made to change the name of the school from Olivet back to St. Viator’s, its former name.
It has also been confirmed that Pope Francis has agreed to be the first chapel speaker of the year. “I can’t think of anyone who would be a better fit to speak to the students,” Panini said. “He’s already expressed that he’s proud to hear of this change in the university and he would love to teach students the ways of Catholicism.”
Both Panini and Holycomb also mentioned that this change to the university and the Pope’s visit will bring in many potential students and put St. Viator’s on the map.
“We know this is a big change for the University, but change is good,” Holycomb said. “We’ve been considering making this change for a while, and we feel it’s what’s best for the community of Olivet. We think the founders would be very proud of our decision.”
—Lauren Stancle, Assistant editor