Chaplain & AQ Director
Fr. Jonathan Kalisch, O.P.
Fr. Jon was born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1994, majoring in American Studies with a concentration in government and history. After college, Fr. Jon worked for Price Waterhouse in Warsaw, Poland. While there, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, during which he felt called to become a priest. After returning to the United States, he worked as a campaign manager before joining the Dominican Order in 1996. Ordained a priest in 2003, Fr. Jon has extensive experience in campus ministry. AQ’s chaplain since 2009 and an avid sports fan, Fr. Jon considers his job to be the best in the world: leading others to encounter the love of Christ!
Office Hours: Tuesday, 12:00-2:00pm, Friday, 1:00-3:00pm
Fr. Christopher Saliga, O.P.
Fr. Christopher M Saliga, OP recently completed an eighteen-month missionary assignment as postulant director and assistant novice master for the Dominican Vicariate of Eastern Africa during which time he also served as Chaplain of Our Lady of Grace Primary and Secondary Catholic Boarding School, Kisumu, Kenya.
From July 2008 through December 2010, Fr. Christopher served as the chaplain of Walsh University in North Canton, OH where he also taught theology and philosophical bioethics on an adjunct basis. Additionally, he served as a community representative on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Akron.
From 2005-2008, he served as a health care chaplain and ethicist with the Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York, Saint Catherine of Siena Church; he served in adjunct capacity on the Catholic campus ministry teams at both Columbia and Quinnipiac Universities; and, from 2007-2008 he served as a community representative on the Ethics Committee of the Hospital for Special Surgery.
He has lectured on select topics in health care ethics and spirituality at various hospitals, universities, and churches; he has written on select topics in health care ethics and spirituality; and, he has given numerous retreats in schools, parishes, and religious communities.
Prior to his years as a Dominican friar and priest, he served in paramedical and nursing capacities within military and private sector contexts. From 1984-1988, he served in the United States Army as a combat medic and paratrooper. From 1988-1992 he studied nursing while also serving as an emergency room technician in a private sector hospital. Upon completing his Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1992, he was commissioned a United States Navy nurse corps officer in which capacity he served with both active and reserve Navy and Marine Corps branches from 1992-1998.
After his active naval service, he served at the Franciscan University of Steubenville as a clinical nursing instructor. In July 1998, Fr. Christopher entered the Dominican Order’s Province of St. Joseph and was ordained a priest in 2005.
Office Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 10:00am-12:00pm
Merissa Newton grew up in Cornish N.H, attending Kimball Union Academy for high school and Franciscan University of Steubenville for her undergraduate and graduate years. She developed an interest in serving the Church while at Franciscan University and after graduating in 2003 with a B.A. in Philosophy and a concentration in the Great Books Program, spent a year doing missionary work in Jamaica for the Diocese of Montego Bay. After returning to the States she began to teach religion at the high school level in New Orleans, LA. She returned to Franciscan University in 2005 to complete an M.A. in Philosophy, and since then has taught philosophy as an adjunct professor at several colleges, began an M.A. program in theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, and continued to teach religion to high school students in the New Orleans area for the past few years.
Merissa is very excited to begin her first term as the Campus Minister at Dartmouth, and sees it as a wonderful opportunity to combine both her passions for ministry in the Church and her love of philosophy and theology, realizing that the marriage of the realms of faith and reason become a preeminent part of ministry on a college campus such as Dartmouth’s. Her specific interests are Philosophy of Science and Personalism, and her hobbies include running road races, Lindy Hop and salsa dancing, and generally being outdoors. She looks forward to meeting the Dartmouth community and getting to know the students!
Office Hours: Tuesday & Friday, 3:005:00pm
Pastor – St. Denis Parish; Hanover, NH
Fr. Francis Belanger, O.P.
Fr. Francis was raised in East Greenwich, RI, attended Catholic schools for ten years, and graduated from Dartmouth in 1989. He made his profession of vows in the Dominican Order in 2001 and was ordained in 2005. Prior to his assignment at Aquinas House, he served as an associate pastor and campus minister at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. Known for his quick wit, Fr. Francis served at Aquinas House and St. Denis parish as associate pastor from Nov. 2006- Nov. 2010. Fr. Francis was recently named the pastor of St. Denis by the bishop and Dominican provincial. He will continue to assist with Young Adult ministry and outreach at Aquinas House.
Aquinas House Intern
Emmaline Berg ’13
Major: Biology with a concentration in psychology
Hometown: Holliston, MA
Campus Involvement: Track & Field, AQ music program
Fun Fact: My nickname is bolt because I do everything fast!
Why do you continue to serve at AQ? I love singing at mass and organizing the music and love the welcoming, open atmosphere
Kelsey Byrd ’13
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Campus Involvement: Dartmouth Cycling Team, DOC Cabin and Trail, Club Basketball
Fun Fact: Some of my favorite things include watching Denver Broncos football, hiking in Colorado and anything that has to do with basketball.
Why do you continue to serve at AQ?: I continue to serve at AQ because it is a supportive community that likes to have fun.
Dan Harritt ’13
Major: Biomedical Engineering & Classics
Hometown: Hopkinton, NH
Campus Involvement: ROTC
Fun Fact: Learning to sing
Why do you continue to serve at AQ? My faith is critical to my being complete and I owe my community here
Clarisse Benoit ’14
Major: Neuroscience, Minor in Human Development and Education
Hometown: Cape Neddick, ME
Campus Involvement: Research in the Reading Brains Lab (Education Department)
Fun Fact: I was the first person in the US to see the sunrise one day this summer.
Why do you continue to serve at AQ?: Because it’s my home. =)
Chris Hauser ’14
Major: Philosophy and History modified with Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Hometown: Barrington, IL
Campus Involvement: The Dartmouth Apologia, Vita Clamantis, RWIT, Intramurals
Fun Fact: I watched the sunrise from the Areopagus in Athens, the rock where St. Paul preached to the Athenians.
Why do you continue to serve at AQ? This is the place where I discovered the full bloom and richness of my Catholic Faith. I want to continue to grow in that faith and invite others to join this wonderful family, that they might find a home here and a place to discover the richness of their faith, just as I did when I came to Dartmouth.
Robert Smith ’14
Major: Government, Minors in Music and Anthropology
Hometown: North Wales, PA
Campus Involvement: Knights of Columbus, Vita Clamantis, College Republicans, The Dartmouth Apologia, Theater, UGA
Fun Fact: I have number form synesthesia.
Why do you continue to serve at AQ?: I want my passion to inspire others.
Bridget Shaia ’15
Major: Engineering, Arabic Minor
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Campus Involvement: Dartmouth Ski Patrol, Vita Clamantis, The Dartmouth Apologia, Baseball Team Manager
Fun Fact: I have an unhealthy obsession with the Boston Red Sox.
Why do you continue to serve at AQ? I serve to help other students find a home here at AQ as I have.