Susanna Bede Caroselli, professor of art history (third from left), also serves as a facilitator for The Sisters of St. Gregory, an Episcopal religious community whose members strive to balance prayer and contemplation with service to others.
Beyond the Classroom
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As leaders of faith-based organizations, professors Stephen Gallaher ’78 and Susanna Bede Caroselli facilitate personal growth and team building, nurturing the people they serve, who in turn reach out to others. An ordained pastor and assistant professor of Christian ministries at Messiah, Gallaher is also the founder and executive director of the youth and outreach ministry Salt ’n Light, Inc. The 19 staff members of this organization work with church youth groups throughout the mid-Atlantic states to prepare teens to evangelize other teens. Having grown from a staff of one to 19 in ten years, Salt ’n Light has shown that its mission works: “When a teen shares his or her faith among peers, you see the audience on the edge of their seats,” Gallaher observes.
Aside from furthering and administering the ministry’s founding vision, Gallaher believes his role is to maintain unity among team members, which is why he prioritizes for his staff regular times of renewal and retreat, including biblical teaching, prayer, sharing, campfire time, and completing small service projects together. From this point of unity, the staff then disperses to reach America’s youth and to involve them in Christian ministry through rallies, retreats, consultation services, summer camps, mission trips, and a speakers bureau. Gallaher also engages college students as Salt ’n Light interns, including several from Messiah each year.
Susanna Bede Caroselli, professor of art history, describes herself as a facilitator in her role as leader of The Sisters of St. Gregory, an Episcopal religious community of nine members for whom Caroselli provides pastoral care.
The sisters, who make the traditional monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, also function in the world in a variety of vocations, including sheep farming, pediatrics, the priesthood, education, and marriage and family life. Caroselli explains that the sisterhood—in combining a variety of commitments—follows the example of their patron saint, the sixth-century bishop Gregory, whose teaching illumined how to balance quiet prayer and contemplation with active service to others. “As a facilitator, I’m helping to serve women who are seeking this balance, not only for themselves, but also for the sake of those they serve in the wider community,” explains Caroselli.
Caroselli finds that her role in the order frequently requires active listening, which is a service she also extends to Messiah College students, who often seek her out
to share what is on their minds.