Letter from the Pastor February 24
This week the Newman Center will say good-bye to a dear friend. David Mares has been on our staff for only a little more than a year and a half, but he has been a part of the Newman student ministry for more than 6 1/2 years. Perhaps you thought this was going to be another article about the Papal resignation. Well, more than one conspiracy-minded person has seen David and the Pope resigning simultaneously as more than mere coincidence. 😉
When David moved to the UofA in the summer of 2006, he showed up at Newman with his guitar in hand and said “put me to work.” From that time until this, David has been a leader in this community. With the exception of his leading music for worship, much of David’s influence has been behind the scenes: helping to create the templates and directions of various campus ministry programs. David’s degree from the UofA is in mechanical engineering and one can see an engineer’s designing touch in the systematic way he approaches ministry. from design to implementation, every program of our campus ministry has benefited from David’s unique approach.
Since David became a member of our staff, he has put his engineer’s touch on redesigning our web-site and our program of electronic communication for our programs. He has also been single-handedly responsible for maintaining and updating the various pages of the web-site. As David prepares to depart, he has handed over these responsibilities to a team of computer-savvy students who promise to follow David’s example in keeping us looking good electronically.
In recent years, David has become something of a minor celebrity among young people around Arizona. Through his involvement in Youth Ministry conferences, parish youth retreats and Life-teen programs, he has built a loyal clientele for his talks, presentations, and music. I have been very proud of David and many of our other students who have become ministers in their own right bringing the Gospel to the next generation.
David’s first ministerial love is music. He was already an accomplished church musician when he arrived in Tucson and has been the real driving force behind our music programs in recent years. It has been amazing to watch him grow as a musician and to see him work with other students encouraging them to use their gifts and talents in service of the Lord and his Church. David writes a lot of music as well. I have been encouraging David for 2 years to publish and record his settings for Responsorial Psalms so that the broader Church can benefit from his talents. I have also known that music would be the ministerial path that David would eventually trod. David has accepted a music ministry position at St. Timothy’s Parish in Mesa. I am sure that this will only be another launching pad for this very talented and driven servant of the Lord.
As David goes forward with his plans, we wish him God’s richest blessings and we thank him for his commitment to ministry at Newman for the last 6.5 years. We will miss him very much and our campus ministry and music programs will not be the same without him.