The end of an era: ‘Father Charlie’ to leave TCU


Texas Christian University is saying goodbye to an on-campus religious leader.

Rev. Charlie Calabrese will leave TCU and its Catholic community at the end of June.

“The Bishop of Fort Worth, Most Reverend Michael F. Olson, recently thanked me for my 30 years of ministry to the TCU Catholic Community,” said Calabrese in an email sent to members of TCU Catholic Community.

Calabrese began his ministry at TCU in 1984, making him the longest serving religious leader on TCU’s Religious & Spiritual Life staff.

“I’ve often said to people that, as a priest, I have the best ministry in the whole world,” Calabrese said. “What I thought might be 3-5 years of ministry here, turned out to be a 30-year ministry for which I am deeply grateful.”

Calabrese’s departure has shocked and saddened many in TCU’s Catholic Community.

“I’d imagine that some people are angry, some people are very hurt and then some are just completely fearful that they don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Brad Horn, a junior religion major and co-president of TCU Catholic Community.

“Depending on who you ask, I’m sure there’s a range of emotion that you can find,” Horn said. 

TCU Catholic Community is not only made up of student members. Generations of TCU alumni and the Fort Worth community are a part of this community led by Calabrese.

Nikki Howard, a Dallas native and co-president of TCU Catholic Community, has known Calabrese and been a part of the community for many years.

“I’ve never really known anything different at TCU,” said Howard, a junior speech-language pathology major. “He [Calabrese] knew me before I started coming here as a student.”

A representative from the Fort Worth Diocese said between the months of May and June, priests go through a series of reassignments. A pastor can take a position at a parish or be the campus chaplain at a university.

“It’s pretty general and pretty standard,” said Marlon De La Torre, director of Catechesis for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth. “Typically, how the Church views those, and how they’re deemed, is basically it’s an assignment that a priest is given to continue the good work of the Church.”

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life will host a reception on April 22 at 2 p.m. in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium to thank Calabrese for his service.

“These past 30 years, there’s nothing I would rather have been doing than serving the TCU Catholic Community,” Calabrese said.