Joe Wysocki

joe-webpageJoe Wysocki has a little history with the University of St. Francis. Growing up in nearby Frankfort, Wysocki watched his family interact with USF on a regular basis. Two of his sisters attended USF, one of them transferring and the other graduating in 2003. His father coached JV softball at USF as well, back when the university still had junior varsity teams. Joe himself graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2007 with a BA in English and Italian. Now, Wysocki serves as the Director of University Ministry here at USF.

“I have always been interested in working in a ministry position for as long as I can remember and I found this position on the Internet,” said Wysocki. “It really appealed to me because its primary focus was service and social justice which are two things that are at the core of my faith and spirituality.”

It makes sense, then, that University Ministry is based on service, as well as community, religious programming and education. University Ministry provides service opportunities for students and the community, as well as offering religious opportunities like Mass or other faith-sharing groups. University Ministry also holds retreats and integrates service learning into the everyday lives of students.

Through the variety of service opportunities University Ministry offers, Wysocki hopes to make the department an active part of students’ lives regardless of their religious background. Students today are busier than ever, and University Ministry is always working to convince them that participating is worthwhile.

“What worked in campus ministry ten years ago does not work today and so we are challenged to be innovative and flexible,” said Wysocki. “We strive to create an environment in University Ministry that is accessible, inclusive and welcoming to people of all faiths and people of no faith at all.” Joe’s hard work within University Ministry and specifically the Daybreak shelter was recognized this fall by the Administrative and Staff Council. Joe received the 2014 Saints in Action award; a designation given to a USF employee who lives the mission of USF daily.

Though a little shy to be in the limelight, Joe is thankful and humbled by the recognition. “Our partnership with Daybreak, which is a ministry of Catholic Charities of Joliet, is something which has really grown during my time at USF and it is something I am very proud of. It gives our students and employees the opportunity to put our mission into practice and to share that mission with our local community. The USF community is a very generous one and our work with Daybreak is just another manifestation of that generosity” he states.

When he isn’t working, Wysocki enjoys running and playing with his dog, Darwin. He enjoys reading and is currently practicing his Spanish by reading the Spanish translations of the Chronicles of Narnia. Wysocki is also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Christian Ethics at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.