Welcome to Fr. James Pierce Cavanaugh, OP

A new face has found its way into the halls of Fenwick. Father James-Pierce O.P. is a new addition to the Fenwick community, and will start teaching theology classes soon. Father James-Pierce went to college at Indiana University, majoring in sports broadcasting. When recounting his journey of priesthood, he highlighted how he never thought he would find himself becoming a Dominican Friar. Like many of us, he found himself pulling away from the faith he grew up with. He began skipping Mass on Sunday mornings, but his secret was discovered by his mother. With her encouragement, he found his way back to his faith. He had to decide whether a relationship with God was something he wanted in his life, and with the guidance of a priest whom he looked to for advice, he was encouraged to spend time in a chapel to talk with Jesus. “I didn’t hear anything but had this quiet inclination feeling in my heart to think about priesthood.” This new feeling in his heart made him scared, and he did not know how to act on it. He thought about distracting himself with other options, but ultimately found himself thinking about becoming a priest. Today, Father James Pierce can confidently say he is glad he gave serious thought in becoming a Dominican.

When asked if he has any advice for Fenwick students, Father James-Pierce said, “I want to help everyone be able to imagine themselves as a saint.” Oftentimes, we find ourselves thinking about the saints shown in the stained glass windows of our chapel, and think it’s hard to achieve what they did. But like us, saints were real people; they were people who gave their life to those around them in order to help others and build the world in the best way possible. He wants the student body to think of themselves as saints, viewing themselves as the fullest versions of a person they can be. There’s a new bridge to be crossed that will help us think of saints as role models to strive to be like, and Father James-Pierce hopes to be the person to build it.

The most important goal Father James Pierce hopes to accomplish at Fenwick is to be a positive presence to the community. He said, “I’d want to help Fenwick keep doing what it’s doing well at, and help those things do even better.” The changes he hopes to bring to Fenwick look bright and promising, and it’s only the beginning for him.