Welcome to University Ministry

As an integral part of our Catholic Franciscan University, University Ministry and its staff are here to serve and welcome each member of the USF community no matter your faith or religious background. Following the example of our patrons saints Francis and Clare, we challenge students to recognize God’s presence in all things. University Ministry at St. Francis is centered on our four cornerstones of prayer, discipleship, community, and service. All are invited to join in the faith
life of this vibrant community.

A University Ministry Overview

The University Ministry staff strives to serve and welcome each member of the USF community, no matter their faith or religious background. University Ministry is centered on four cornerstones of prayer, discipleship, community, and service. All are invited to join in the vibrant faith life of the University of St. Francis… learn more by watching our video!

University Ministry Programs & Services


  • Sunday at 7 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel
  • Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 12:15 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel
  • Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. in the Tower Hall Chapel
  • Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the St. Clare campus
  • Masses on feast days and holy days of obligation will be announced.

Reconciliation is always offered before Mass on Sundays, or anytime by appointment.


St. Joseph Chapel (Main Campus)
Located on the third floor of the Motherhouse, the St. Joseph Chapel was dedicated in 1893 and originally served as the spiritual home of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, the university’s sponsoring congregation. Today, the chapel is used for university liturgies, prayer, and peaceful reflection. The chapel is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when school is in session.

Interfaith Reflection Space (Main Campus)
This space, directly across the hall from St. Joseph Chapel, is a place for quiet reflection and prayer for people of all faiths.

Tower Hall Chapel (Main Campus)
This small chapel is located on the third floor of Tower Hall.

Immaculate Conception Chapel (St. Clare Campus)
This cozy chapel is located on the second floor of Guardian Angel Hall.

University Ministry is comprised of professional full-time staff and a group of student leaders called Peer Ministers. Peer Ministers organize programming in residence halls, lead small faith communities, help to lead retreats, serve as lectors and Eucharistic Ministers at Mass, plan service projects and much more.

For information on how to become a Peer Minister, contact University Ministry.

University Ministry offers two retreats each year. Each semester, students have the opportunity to participate in an overnight retreat offered by University Ministry. Students of all faiths and of no faith at all are welcome to participate in our retreats. Please contact University Ministry.

During breaks and over the summer, University Ministry offers students the opportunity to serve, learn, and grow through mission experiences. If you would like more information about participating in any of these opportunities, please contact University Ministry.

Winter Break (Philippines)

The University of St. Francis students have the opportunity to join the Diocese of Joliet University Mission to Bacolod, Philippines. The primary goal of the mission is to build a house with the Gawad Kalinga organization. Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK) is a Philippine-based movement that aims to end poverty for 5 million families. Students who attend also dialogue with local university students and spend time with families in the village.

INTERESTED? The trip generally occurs end of Dec./early Jan. and last about 10 days.


Spring Break

Each spring break students are offered an alternative spring break trip; the purpose of which is to serve the chosen area, build community among students, and grow as an individual in faith. USF students have gone to Whole Kids Outreach in Missouri and to Biloxi, Mississippi to help with home repair/construction/demolition through Hope CDA – an agency helping residents, six years after Hurricane Katrina, to recover. Our place may change, but the purpose will always remain – to live lives of service.

INTERESTED? More information coming soon.


Summer Break (Bolivia)

Summer 2023 Canceled | Check back for Summer 2024 information
The University Mission to Sucre, Bolivia began in 1995 through the efforts of Sr. Dolores Zemont, O.S.F., at the University of St. Francis. In 2001, it was expanded by the Diocese of Joliet’s Peace and Social Justice Ministry to include students from all three of the diocese’s Catholic universities: Benedictine University, Lewis University and the University of St. Francis. In partnership with the Diocese’s Peace and Justice office, students from the College of DuPage, Elmhurst College, Joliet Junior College and North Central College are also included in this mission opportunity. While in Sucre, students serve at several orphanages, day care centers, a hospital built by the diocese and two psychiatric centers.

INTERESTED? The Bolivia Mission generally occurs for 12-15 days in June.

Alumni and select other friends of St. Francis are eligible to use the St. Joseph Chapel for the celebration of their wedding ceremony. The wedding couple must include at least one alumnus/a and it must be a Catholic wedding ceremony approved by the Diocese of Joliet. If you are interested in getting married in the St. Joseph Chapel, please contact University Ministry.


Check back soon for University Ministry events.

University Ministry Team

University Ministry Sr. Mary Imler

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF

Vice President for Mission
Integration & Ministry

University Ministry Sr. Gayle Rusbasan

Sr. Gayle Rusbasan, OSF​

Assistant Director of University Ministry

University Ministry Fr. Terry Dettenbaugh

Fr. Terry Deffenbaugh, OSA

usf logo with gold border

Fr. Michael Jennrich, OFM

Additional Links