New friar on campus is ready to serve Franciscan community

Summer Derwald
Staff Writer

Unlike his infamous namesake, the Rev. Rufino Corona, TOR, is a big fan of social gatherings around campus, he said. A self-proclaimed extrovert, a new friar at Franciscan University of Steubenville said that his favorite thing about campus is the joyful community.

The official titles of the Rev. Rufino Corona, TOR, range from pastoral assistant of household life to the chaplain of Trinity Hall, St. Junipero Serra Hall and the lacrosse team. Corona can often be found in the J.C. Williams Center, where he enjoys socializing and occupies his office as the pastoral assistant of evangelization.

“I just love to talk to people and meet people,” Corona said. “That’s … part of the reason I spend so much time in (the J.C. Williams Center).”

While the fall of 2021 is Corona’s first semester at Franciscan as a friar, he was once a transfer student at Franciscan. Corona spent a semester at the Kartause in Austria with the school and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international business.

Corona said that he took a relaxed and logical approach to his discernment. When his high school youth minister first approached him concerning the priesthood, Corona’s parents immediately declined, preferring that their son first attend college.

After transferring to Franciscan in the fall of 2010, Corona said he again heard Jesus’ call to be a priest at a Tuesday night worship session and again refused.

Later, as a coordinator of Lions of Judah household, Corona said that the Lord “opened … (his) heart to discern again.” He began to take interest in the TOR friars on campus and “loved the type of ministry they did.”

Corona’s philosophy towards vocational discernment is “not planned” and “uncomplicated.” When he felt a call toward religious formation, he “just decided to go for it.”

“What’s stopping me from doing it?” he reasoned. “Logic can be a big part of discernment.”

Originally from Mexico, Corona emigrated to San Antonio, California, when he was eight years old. Fluent in Spanish, Corona said that the “culture is just a huge part of … (his) life.” Corona hopes to minister to the Spanish-speaking community on campus.

Students can find Corona in his office in the J.C. Williams center, playing volleyball games at the court behind St. Thomas More Hall and leading praise and worship at Festivals of Praise and Tuesday night praise.

Corona is excited to be a part of the Franciscan community and looks forward to being on campus to socialize and bring joy to university life.

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