School of Medicine Welcomes New Chaplain
The start of each school year brings many new faces to the University. In August, first year-medical students stepped on campus to begin their journeys as physicians and on Aug. 1, the Rev. Ben Osborne, SJ, joined the Creighton community as the School of Medicine chaplain.
Fr. Osborne was born and raised in Winthrop, Minnesota, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1997, after graduating from Marquette University. He was ordained in 2009, and after completing another year of study was assigned as associate director of the Jesuit Retreat House near the Twin Cities, and was superior of the Jesuit community in Minneapolis.
During his training, Fr. Osborne taught for three years at Creighton Prep, one of a handful of times his journey would lead him to Omaha. Fr. Osborne says a key moment that inspired him to apply to the Jesuit order was the summer after his junior year at Marquette, when he was on the Creighton campus for an Ignatian retreat. The program gave him a clear understanding of Ignatian spirituality and what it means to be a Jesuit.
In formal preparations for taking his final vows, Fr. Osborne was engaged in the Jesuit tertianship program. He was based in Nairobi, Kenya, and assigned to pastoral work in South Sudan.
Fr. Osborne brings a wealth of experience in pastoral ministry to the School of Medicine. He says his goals for the first year include meeting and getting to know students. Fr. Osborne plans to promote a culture of reflection and equip the driven, hard-working students with Ignatian tools to help them maintain a sense of balance and well-being.
“It’s my hope here at Creighton that we form outstanding physicians who can enter into relationship with their colleagues and with their patients to make God’s compassion and God’s healing real and concrete,” said Osborne.
Students have already learned that Fr. Osborne keeps his office in the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Health Sciences Complex stocked with snacks and coffee, and between classes they find him to say hello.
Hanging on the wall in Fr. Osborne’s office, above his table where he keeps a Costco-size container of animal cookies, is a paddle. Inscribed on the paddle is a quote from Tom Kelly, former manager of the Minnesota Twins baseball team, “We’re all in the boat together. Everybody grab an oar.”
Fr. Osborne believes the quote describes the collaborative nature of the School of Medicine and the paddle is a daily reminder of this for Fr. Osborne. He says he hopes his new colleagues and students are also inspired by the words, as they all embark on their journeys together in the School of Medicine.