A man named Christopher hailing from the mean streets of Scarborough, an Eastern Catholic of the Syro-Malankara Church, has emerged as the President of Newman House. There are many other titles you may use to refer to him, as well: ‘Chris T the King’, ‘Clutchtopher’, ‘CT3’, or the ‘Three-Chain Thrilla’.
Chris is currently in his third year of Con-Ed at Queen’s and is majoring in philosophy. His current path to being a teacher has turned out to be a blessing as he is eager to educate future generations and imbue virtuous qualities within them, following in God’s commands for His disciples.
God willing, Chris’ goal for Newman House is to be a place of refuge for those who have fallen away from the faith, that they may begin to, or once again, experience the fullness of Catholicism and become multiplying missionaries of the faith. The newly ordained Honcho is pleased with the rapid growth of the club!
When asked the age-old question of what he envisioned his life to be like in 10 years when he was 10 years younger (a bit trippy, I know, but basically his vision of where he is now), Chris quite boldly stated “I had no clue”. Following up on such a mystifying response, he added that he wanted to do some good in this world. Interested in science and leadership, he eventually found his calling to be an educator.
In Chris’s free time you may find him cracking open some great books, such as liturgical rubrics, canon law codes, or of course Eastern Christian spiritual texts. He is a big follower of basketball. So much so that he even once coached grade 7 and 8 basketball. Chris also enjoys all sorts of games, whether that be with cards, boards, or consoles; I guess you can also call him the “King of Games”.
Some of the most renowned saints that Chris aspires to be like or finds inspirational are: St. John Paul II, Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios, St. John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius, and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. With role models like these, Newman House should rest easy knowing Chris is our President!
The beautiful and talented barista-extraordinaire Megan Kenney is a 4th year Psychology student. She hails from Guelph, Ontario and came to Queen’s in her second year after spending her first year in Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.
Megan’s favourite saint is St. Bernadette and her favourite pastimes include baking, knitting, reading, and drinking tea. Her bubbly and enthusiastic nature has the amazing ability to draw people to herself and the Lord. This is her second round on the student executive: she served as the Campus Outreach Coordinator during the 2016/2017 year and has since moved on to grace the role of Vice President.
Megan Kenney is one of the warmest and kindest people you could meet. She is organized and courageous and truly an inspiring woman of faith!
It is an honour and a privilege to introduce you to the lovely, the wonderful, the Madeleine Visser. How could you describe Maddie Visser? Have you ever walked into a toy store and come face to face with a cuddly, adorable teddy bear? Yes? Well that is Maddie. When you see her, you cannot help but love her. She is a bundle of joy.
Maddie is also extremely smart and resourceful. As a second-year nursing student, she may have to wear scrubs most of time, but she rocks them. You may see her with a nose in a book or wearing her rockin’ scrubs, often both.
As secretary and treasurer, you will often see Maddie perched on the counter collecting money for Thursday Night Dinner. She is so excited to get to know you. Need a conversation starter? Just ask about Quidditch. Maddie is a Quidditch star, magically playing for the Queen’s team.
Originating in Ottawa, Ontario, Maddie is the oldest of 7 siblings. She has played soccer for most of her life, played competitively since the young age of 13, and spent summers coaching the youngsters as well. Even today the ghost of soccer-Maddie past can be spotted kicking around a ball at any hour of the day or night. Ask her to play and she will have a full team assembled in 15 minutes or less.
Maddie’s favourite book is The Secret Life of Bees. She is named after St. Mary Magdalene, who is also her best Saint buddy. Also, when Maddie was born her parents chose a passage for her: Jeremiah 29:11. We’ve just scratched the surface of the incredible Madeleine Visser, so do yourself a favour and be sure to say hello.
Emily HelfertyLiturgical Coordinator
Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing (one of) your two new Liturgical Coordinators, the lovely Emily Clare Helferty!
She is going into her 2nd year here at Queen’s as a music major in the performance stream, and loves learning about classical music. She grew up in a very musical family, and plays the saxophone, piano, and perhaps most impressively, the kazoo. She is gifted with a beautiful soprano voice with an incredible range (almost 3 octaves!!) and we are blessed to have her leading our Newman choir this year.
She is also a member of the Cathedral choir, and as part of her program is involved in performances each semester, featuring a mix of opera scenes. She hopes as the head of the Newman House choir to continue her sister Molly’s work and focus on making the music both beautiful and Christ-centred.
As the youngest in a family with 10 kids, Emily became an aunt at the early age of 7, and currently has 14 nieces and nephews. She is a huge fan of Dr. Jordan Peterson, loves The Lord of the Rings, and enjoys watching Bollywood movies, particularly those featuring Shah-Rukh Khan. If she had to pick a celebrity crush it would be Benedict Cumberbatch, as featured in the BBC Sherlock. She has a special love for St. Rita, her confirmation saint, as well as St. Anthony and St. John Paul II. If you see her walking around campus, particularly around Harrison-LeCaine Hall, be sure to say Hi!!
Will TranLiturgical Coordinator
Son of Vietnam, Demar DeRozan, Willy T…
He is known by all of these names, but official documentation identifies him as Will Tran – co-liturgical coordinator of Newman House. He is a third-year Life Sciences student at Queen’s with a passion for basketball, singing in the shower, and getting to know people, and is very excited to give back to the Newman community this year through his executive position.
A proud Belleville (“Belle Vegas”) native, Will describes his style as “hipster but not too much” and with trendy glasses like his, one can’t help but agree (shout out to Savio, to whom we owe thanks for helping to pick them out).
In his spare time, Will sings in the St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir, enjoys funny memes, and goes to the gym to“get gains” with his housemates. His basketball career allegedly began around the age of seven when he was playing “catch” with a rock which landed on his brother’s head. That was the last time Will played that game – now he throws basketballs instead, and with no head injuries to speak of.
As head sacristan – an aspect of his leadership position as Co-Liturgical Coordinator – Will is looking forward to learning more about Church traditions and the beauty of the liturgy, as well as growing deeper in his faith as a Catholic man. His words to live by are: do things that you won’t regret later, you get what you get from what you work for, and do all things through Christ.
If you see this easy-going and thoughtful guy on campus, be sure to say “yo” – you will be glad you did.
Savio KocherryCampus Outreach Coordinator
Meet Savio, one of Newman House’s Campus Outreach Coordinators. He is a third-year Life Sciences Major.
Savio is also commonly known as Dave Franco or Indian Jones. The movie of his life would entitled The Fresh Prince of Belleville and he imagines his sidekick would be Joey Tribbiani. If it is God’s will he would like to pursue a career in the medical field while preaching the Word of God and bringing souls to Christ. Other goals include traveling as a missionary and going to the finals of the NBA or NFL playoff series.
Some of his favourite Saints are St. Dominic Savio, St. John Paul II, & St. Don Bosco. He loves praying the Rosary and going to Adoration among many spiritual activities.
Look out for him at Vic Hall on Sundays for Meet 4 Mass at 10am and 7pm!
Katie MorettaCampus Outreach Coordinator
In his 1906 novel, The Sentimentalists, Monsignor R.H. Benson writes that “There is no limit to the power of a good woman.” Katie Moretta, never having had the chance to meet Mgr. Benson, has however become the personification of his words. Artistic in her approach and gentle in her care, Katie Moretta is a third-year English student, with hopes of becoming a teacher. Born in Brampton on September 15, 1997, Katie now resides in Caledon East, famous for being perhaps the only township in Canada without a Tim Hortons.
Making her way to Newman House in her first year at Queen’s University, she immediately became active in the heart-beat of the chaplaincy. Little did she know that in two years, Newman House would be home to Katie in more ways than one. “Newman House is where faith meets friendship, in the most beautiful way possible,” says Katie when asked to reflect upon her time there.
Soft in voice but eloquent in speech, Katie feels called to motherhood and can often be seen holding a baby, talking about the adorableness of babies, or watching hilarious baby videos. However, don’t let this plush side fool you, as Katie has a black belt in Karate and, for a lack of a better term, ‘kicks butt!’ Her passion for Karate has allowed her to reach great heights and even instruct students in their pursuit of excellence. Katie is also an advocate for pineapples on pizza and values the appreciation of femininity and masculinity.
Katie loves reading and drinking a hot cup of black coffee – no added sugar or cream, just black. Hipster at heart, the artist whose music she believes more people need to discover is Autumn Irlbeck – and with good reason too.
With a heart for the lost, Katie understands her Catholic identity as a missionary and prayerfully hopes to invite other souls to share in her joy for Christ our Shepherd. With love for St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Katie has embraced the teachings of this great Saint in her pursuit of perfection: “The secret of happiness is ‘losing’… that we should throw ourselves into God as little drops of water into the sea, and lose ourselves indeed in the Ocean of the divine goodness.”
And, brothers and sisters, Katie Moretta sure does make a big splash.
Alison PurcellSocial Outreach Coordinator
Alison McEwan Purcell is our Social Outreach Coordinator this year on the Newman House Executive. A 4th year Biology Major, Alison hails from Throoptown, Ontario; population 25 plus cemetery. Don’t know where Throoptown is? How about Spencerville? Brockville? Alison often finds herself having to resort to larger towns to tell people where she is from.
So how did we come to find such a remarkable person as Ali? Well we found her in her 2nd year at Queen’s University. She was the only student there at the ever-popular Saturday Mass.
When she reaches the fullness of her adult life she would like to live in a tiny house and hopefully become a nurse or move to Cameroon. That’s right Cameroon. Alison is a world traveller. In 2013 she went to Cameroon to celebrate 10 years of the OK (Ottawa-Kumbo) CleanWater Project with the Congrégation de Notre Dame.
A country girl at heart, her small loves include Starbucks, Campfires, Taylor Swift, and Showtunes and admits to her guilty pleasure of Letterkenny because it reminds her of home. In her spare time she enjoys knitting and watching Frasier.
It’s always difficult to pick a favourite saint but if she was to pick three they would be, St Mother Teresa, St Agnes and St Thérèse of Lisieux.
But this is just a small introduction to the mystery that is Alison Purcell. The rest can only be discovered by talking to this inspiring woman of God yourself.