Upon the nomination of Archbishop Thomas Wenski, St. Thomas University has named Father Rafael Capó as the new Vice President of Mission.
The appointment of Fr. Capó, presently Director of the Southeast Bishops Office and Institute of Hispanic Ministry, comes as St. Thomas University moves to promote and integrate the Catholic Mission and core values of the University into all segments and areas of the institution and as the Church in the United States calls for the formation of leaders in the context of cultural diversity and the growing numbers of young Catholic Latinos, evidenced by the USCCB V National Encuentro.
Fr. Capó will be on the President’s Staff, and work directly with the President, Provost, Directors of Campus Ministry, Chaplain, and all other University committees and entities in order to move this mission forward.
“It is an honor to be able to welcome Father Capó to our STU family” said David A. Armstrong, J.D., President at St. Thomas University. “With his leadership, in-depth knowledge, and strong ties to the Archdiocese of Miami, we will be able to infuse the Catholic identity into our university mission and strengthen our ties with the Catholic community. “
Fr. Capó is a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami. Born in Puerto Rico and ordained a priest in 1996, he has served as the Executive Director of the US Catholic Bishops Southeast Regional Office for Hispanic Ministry and its Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI).
“The Catholic Church in the United States has renewed its commitment to form and empower a new generation of leaders and missionary disciples” said Fr. Capó. “I am happy to join St. Thomas University to help deepen its Catholic identity and mission in this historic moment and to accompany the administration, staff and student body in this exciting adventure.”
With degrees in Educational Leadership and Biology, he has also worked as High School president, campus minister, teacher and vocations director. While doing his theological studies in Mexico and Rome he ministered to street children and immigrant youth. Fr. Capó has a Licentiate degree in Systematic Theology and a Doctorate in Practical Theology and teaches at the graduate level. He participates in all major organizations of Hispanic Ministry and serves in the coordination of this ministry in USCCB’s regions V and XIV.
Fr. Capó is a member of the USCCB’s V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry Leadership Team, the World Youth Day National Advisory Team, the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians (ACHTUS), and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Religion Advisory Committee in New York.
He is actively present in social media with an emphasis in ministry to young people and a calling to fitness of body, mind, and spirit. He serves as Advisor to the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (La Red) and was appointed a Pontifical Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis.