Sr. Mary Ellen Dow, SND, Named Director of Campus Ministry

Sr. Mary Ellen Dow, SND, Named Director of Campus Ministry

Sr. Mary Ellen Dow, SND, has joined the Trinity community as director of campus ministry.  In announcing her appointment, President Patricia McGuire said, “We are especially pleased that a Sister of Notre Dame now leads Trinity’s campus ministry program and I know our campus community, especially our students, will value her experience and charism.”

“Campus ministry in college life is centered on issues of spirituality and faith for the campus community,” reflected Dow. “So in my beginning as campus minister for Trinity I will focus on being present to our campus community and listening for what our campus community needs to grow spiritually, with a special sensitivity to our student population.  The greatest strength of Trinity is our diverse population with its various faith traditions and the spiritual journeys of so many, so in all that campus ministry does we will be a welcoming, interfaith campus community while at the same time valuing and celebrating our rich Catholic tradition. As a Sister of Notre Dame, I am very excited and passionate about joining the Trinity community.”

Since she arrived on campus in August, Dow has planned Cap and Gown Mass, started a gospel choir, initiated a community service program through which students volunteer at a homeless shelter, offered a spiritual retreat for first-year students, helped plan a dialogue between students and Sisters of Notre Dame in residence at Trinity, and reached out to the campus community in many ways. She is also planning an alternative spring break trip that will engage students in community service.

Dow most recently served as director of campus ministry at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, where she planned and implemented faith and personal development programs, community service experiences, community-building events and spirituality-based inquiry for students, faculty and staff.  Prior to her time at Merrimack, she was a member of the campus ministry team at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts.  She previously had been responsible for public relations and candidate assessment for the Sisters of Notre Dame, where she supervised and educated women at various stages of inquiry into religious life and spiritual development.

Dow also brings to her campus ministry role many years of teaching.  She taught scripture, morality and social justice at Notre Dame High School for Girls in Chicago; she taught morality and peace and justice issues at Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton; and she taught religion, math and reading at St. Robert Bellarmine Elementary School in Chicago.

Dow earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Dayton; a master’s degree in theology at Fordham University; and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University in Chicago.

“My door is open in Main 219,” said Dow. “I am always eager to meet students, faculty and staff and encourage them to learn more about campus ministry and how we can support their spiritual journeys.”