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Syracuse Catholic chaplain focuses on unity, peace, and helping students grow

The Rev. Linus DeSantis brings community-minded spirit to SU.

The Rev. Linus DeSantis, the Catholic chaplain at Syracuse University, doesn't focus on religious affiliation: For the last six years, he has engaged members of the SU community regardless of their religious beliefs.

“I’m open to all members of the University community,” he said.

After working as a campus minister for more than 20 years, DeSantis realized that he needed to approach his work with students differently, he said. He began encouraging students to discover the potential inherent in their relationships with God, and helping students develop those relationships. DeSantis also instructs students to question which of their actions could alienate God, he said.

Photo: Fred Omar Imbert
The Rev. Linus DeSantis leads a service during the first week of Lent at the Alibrandi Catholic Center.

DeSantis works at the Alibrandi Catholic Center, located at 110 Walnut Place, a center that provides the SU community with opportunities for community service and spiritual retreats. The center will be holding several services for Easter in the upcoming week.

Working with the other chaplains on campus is also part of DeSantis' mission.

“The goal is to bring peace to human kind,” he said, noting that he works with the Muslim, Pagan and Buddhist chaplains, among others, to achieve this goal.

DeSantis said he began getting involved in religious life at a very young age.

“When I was a kid, I always enjoyed working with people [and] for people, so I already had this community-minded idea.”

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