Rudy Vargas IV, Executive Director of the Northeast Hispanic Catholic Center, serving 34 dioceses in the Northeast region of the United States.
Rudy Vargas has been involved in Hispanic Ministry for the past 25 years. He participated in the National Encuentros de Pastoral Hispana and has served on several national boards. He was the first president and a founding member of the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry as well as the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana. Rudy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Applied Research for the Apostolate (CARA) and the Board of Directors for the Jesuit Collaborative.
Rudy has been married to his wife, Sandy, for over 25 years; they have three children (Vanessa, Rudy V, and Veronica Raquel) and a grandchild, Samantha Cristine.
Rudy says Barry University has provided him a place and space where he has deepened and broadened his knowledge and experience in ministry in the Catholic Church. The opportunity to learn and share with colleagues who are engaged in a diversity of ministries and who represent a diversity of vocations, faiths, and cultures has made his experience at Barry unique, invaluable, and profound.
Rudy notes that he has had a true experience of "acompanamineto" as he travels his path towards a Doctorate of Ministry, with a concentration in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Ministry at Barry. He expressed his gratitude to faculty, staff, and colleagues for making a home (away from home) for him at Barry, where he can learn, grow, pray, reflect, read, study, grapple with concepts and reach greater depths of understanding within the field of ministry.
Mary Ellen Cassini—An Episcopal Priest
My name is Mary Ellen Dakin Cassini, and I am a Miami native. I am the wife of Charles, a professor of philosophy for forty years at Barry, and the mother of Marty (‘01) and Matthew, both of whom attended Barry. I also received my BA and MA from Barry University in History and English, respectively.
Teaching has been my passion for the last thirty years. I love the world of ideas. I have been in administration in schools as a department chair and as a principal. Over the last five years, I have become an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Southeast Florida. I am also working on a Doctorate in Ministry at Barry University.
I chose Barry because of its Dominican community which is committed to study and service. I was taught and supported in my undergraduate program by Dominican sisters including Alice Joseph Moore, Eileen Rice, Judith Sheilds, John Karen Frei, and Marie Siena. In my graduate program in English literature, Dorothy Jehle was particularly instrumental in my formation. Presently, I am working closely with Mark Wedig and the other professors in the Theology department to learn from others while growing my gifts in new ways. All of these women and men model that faith and reason live together in our hearts and minds.
I have used the lessons taught by the Dominicans; they have become successful practices in my daily life of study and service to others. Over the years at Barry, I have been taught to search for and expand my vision, value diversity and inclusion, and reach for academic excellence while supporting others in their path. Learning and teaching become a rhythm of life that moves between the individual and communal need for development. For me, the mission of Christ is found in every day exchanges between students and teachers. It is essential to effective ministry to share the light of God in daily practices with everyone with whom we come into contact. Christ calls us to go beyond boundaries and make a difference in our own lives and those of others.