New Chaplain Eager to Meet, Get to Know Students

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

One of the new faces seen around Notre Dame Academy wears the white robes of our new chaplain. Father Christian Raj first heard about the Academy from the Abbot of the Norbertine Abbey after Father Brad’s path took him elsewhere from Notre Dame.

Raj came to the U.S. only two months before joining the ranks of NDA; before that, he was working as the correspondent of a school in India.

“There are big differences between the two schools. The first and foremost thing I like about NDA is the liturgical schedules. In India we have lots of Catholic schools, but the students are made up of mostly Hindus and Muslims.”

Raj thinks Notre Dame function as a small parish. “I especially like how we have daily mass, rosary, and chaplet of divine mercy integrated into the school day.”

Raj’s call to priesthood was inspired by his own time spent in Catholic school.

“I saw the sisters and fathers serving in my school, and the way they lived attracted me a lot. I eventually felt within me that I needed to join the priesthood and serve the lord.”

Raj wants to encourage students of Notre Dame to consider religious life.

“I have seen a lot of senior-aged people are coming to the church but the youngsters are blessed with everything and need to be thankful to God,” he said.

Raj wants to serve as a resource for anyone questioning their vocation.

“I have spent only two months in the U.S., and your accent is much more difficult than other English I am familiar with,” he said.

The new chaplain was asked to teach a class but decided to co-teach instead while he becomes more comfortable with the language. He helps out Mr. Kriegl and Mr. Browne in Intro to Catholicism.

“When the students ask me to share about theology or God or prayer,I am very happy with how attentively everyone listens when I talk,” he said.

Raj has been traveling to different classrooms throughout the school day introducing himself and meeting students and teachers.

He is very excited to work with the students of Notre Dame.

“As I said before, this school is gifted with everything. I have found that the students are sharp and technologically advanced and have access to many opportunities.”

He urges people to stop into his office and talk to him or ask him questions as he gets to know the people that make up Notre Dame.