Fr. Howard Gray, S.J., will serve as interim vice president for mission and ministry starting Aug. 1 while the university seeks a long-term replacement for Fr. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., (CAS ’88), according to a campus-wide email sent by President John J. DeGioia on Friday.
O’Brien will join Santa Clara University — a Jesuit, nonprofit, private university in California — as the dean of the Jesuit School of Theology on Aug. 1 after eight years at Georgetown.
DeGioia expressed his appreciation for O’Brien’s service and said he was grateful that Gray would be taking over in the short term.
“Please join me in welcoming Howard to this new role and thanking him for his ongoing commitment to our University and for his willingness to lead our Office of Mission and Ministry as we continue our search for a new Vice President for Mission and Ministry,” DeGioia wrote.
Gray joined Georgetown in 2007 and currently serves as special assistant to the president. Gray is also a former member of the board of directors.
Before coming to Georgetown, Gray was the rector at the Weston School of Theology from 1976 to 1982, and dean from 1982 to 1983. Gray was provincial at the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus from 1983 to 1989 and later tertian director for the Detroit Province and director of the Detroit Province Spirituality Team. Gray also served as rector of the Jesuit community at John Carroll University from 1991 to 1996.
Gray is well-known for his scholarship on Ignatian spirituality and has taught at numerous institutions, including Fordham University, Boston College and the University of Detroit Mercy.
DeGioia said Gray has significant experience working with mission and ministry.
“During his time here at Georgetown, he has chaired searches for a number of positions in Mission and Ministry and served as a spiritual director for many members of our community, leading many through the 19th Annotation Retreats,” DeGioia wrote.
The university will continue to search for a permanent vice president for mission and ministry, according to DeGioia.