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Seton Hill dedicates Rose O’Brien Center for Campus Ministry in Greensburg | TribLIVE.com
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Seton Hill dedicates Rose O’Brien Center for Campus Ministry in Greensburg

A friendship that began nearly 50 years ago bore fruit on Thursday with the dedication of the Rose O’Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University.

The newly renovated center will provide students with a quiet space for study and reflection, as well as a venue for lectures and other programs, President Mary C. Finger said.

It includes the office of Director of Campus Ministry Sister Maureen O’Brien, whose mother, Rose O’Brien, is the center’s namesake.

“It is truly reflective of the spirit of my mother and of Elizabeth Seton,” O’Brien said. “She would be overwhelmed that this place was named for her.”

The center, which comprises three former offices, was named by university benefactors Catharine Murray Ryan and John T. Ryan III, who met Rose O’Brien when they came to Pittsburgh in 1969.

“We had no family in Pittsburgh,” Catharine Ryan said during remarks at Thursday’s dedication service.

O’Brien, an accountant for the city of Pittsburgh, was a baby sitter for the Ryans’ three children and became a “true grandmother figure” to them, Ryan said.

“She was, and still is, a great presence in the life of our family,” Ryan said.

The Ryans named the center in honor of both mother and daughter – to acknowledge their affection for Rose O’Brien, who died in 2010 and their continuing friendship with Maureen O’Brien, she said.

Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic said in his remarks that a campus ministry center is central to a Catholic university’s mission, which is to “form hearts and minds according to the truth of God and the world.”

“Campus ministry is like a signpost – it points us in the direction of Jesus,” he said.

The center also is a place to pursue justice and learning, he said.

“We need to have a place to come with our doubts, where we can ask questions, where we can delve into the deeper meaning of life. This is a good place to do that,” the bishop said.

The Ryans made a six-figure commitment to create the center, which entailed the construction of a lounge, office space and an area that “supports student volunteer efforts,” spokeswoman Jennifer Reeger said.

The artwork in the lounge was designed by Seton Hill alumna Barbara Martin and her Carnegie-based firm, KMA Design.

The center’s dedication was part of Seton Hill’s ongoing celebration of its centennial year.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.


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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Bishop Edward Malesic makes the opening remarks during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Bishop Edward Malesic makes the opening remarks during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
John Ryan (left), listens as his wife, Catharine, speaks about the friendship of the O'Briens, during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The Ryans made the gift to the ministry center in the name of Mrs. O'Brien, in honor of their long years of friendship.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
John Ryan (left), listens as his wife, Catharine, speaks about the friendship of the O'Briens during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The Ryans made the gift to the ministry center in the name of Mrs. O'Brien, in honor of their long years of friendship.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Catharine Ryan hugs Sister Maureen O'Brien after speaking about the friendship of Sister O'Brien's mother, during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The Ryans made the gift to the ministry center in the name of Mrs. O'Brien, in honor of their long years of friendship.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sister Maureen O'Brien talks about her mother, Rose, and the openness and love that she showed those who came into her life during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sister Maureen O'Brien talks about her mother, Rose, and the openness and love that she showed those who came into her life during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Sister Maureen O'Brien (left), director of campus ministry, walks with Bishop Edward Malesic as he blesses the ministry space during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Bishop Edward Malesic closes in prayer during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Bishop Edward Malesic (left), hugs Sister Maureen O'Brien at the conclusion of the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry, which is named in honor of her mother, at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.
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Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Mary Finger, president of Seton Hill Univeristy, Bishop Edward Malesic, Catherine Ryan, Sister Maureen O'Brien, and John Ryan, pose for a portrait in front of the plaque, during the blessing and dedication of the Rose O'Brien Center for Campus Ministry at Seton Hill University in Greensburg on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The Ryans gave the gift that allowed for the ministry center to be refreshed, and named in honor of their friend, Rose O'Brien.
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