40th Annual Red Mass / Law Day set for April 22 at Saint Francis University

All area judges, lawyers, law enforcement officials, friends, and area residents of all faiths are invited to participate

Loretto, PA (04/12/2022) — Saint Francis University will host its 40th Annual Red Mass / Law Day on Friday, April 22, on its Loretto campus. Bishop Mark Bartchak, J.C.D., will serve as celebrant, and Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., will deliver the homily. The keynote address at the Law Day Lunch will be given by John N. McKeegan, J.D., president of Mount Aloysius College.

Red Mass will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Immaculate Conception Chapel followed by lunch at the John F. Kennedy Student Center.

All area judges, lawyers, law enforcement officials, friends, and area residents of all faiths are invited to participate in Red Mass / Law Day.

To register for lunch or find out more information contact Vickie Soyka at 814-472-3001 or vsoyka@francis.edu.


About Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., President, Saint Francis University:

Assumed the office of President at Saint Francis University on May 12, 2014, with his official inauguration taking place on October 4, 2014.

In the summer of 2018, the university undertook a major institutional restructuring. The ultimate goal of the restructuring was to keep a Saint Francis University education affordable and accessible. Building on the solid foundation of Catholic and Franciscan identity, the university affirmed its vital academic programs in health sciences and business. In addition, the university made significant investments in STEAM programs, including engineering and the arts, and affirmed its commitment to intercollegiate athletics competition at the NCAA Division One level.

In 2019, the university launched Francis Worldwide School of Continuing Studies, a school dedicated to offering career-focused, flexible programs for students looking to continue their education. In his tenure, Saint Francis University has created several new academic programs. The School of Continuing Studies recently launched its first research-based doctorate program delivered in a hybrid format for working professionals across various disciplines. A commitment to a relevant, market-driven academic portfolio is a hallmark of Father's leadership.

Successful capital projects include the Shields School of Business, School of Health Sciences and Education experiential learning commons, and several athletics-related projects. In the summer of 2022, construction will commence for the Connors Family Fine Arts Center, the future home of the Resinski Black Box Theater and a newly renovated building for the Occupational Therapy program. In addition, significant progress continues on the capital campaign for the School of Health Sciences and Education at Sullivan Hall and the Immaculate Conception Chapel.

Father is a member of the NCAA Division One Presidential Forum, a member and past Chair of the Northeast Conference Council of Presidents, and a member and past Chair of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities. Previously, Father Malachi served as Minister Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province and Chairman of the Board of Franciscan University, where he led a successful presidential search.

Prior to the Presidency, he spent twelve years at the university as an assistant professor of accounting (full-time and adjunct). He previously served as the treasurer and vicar provincial of the Franciscan Friars, Sacred Heart Province.

Fr. Malachi professed vows as a Franciscan in 1999 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2004. He has a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Capella University, a master's degree in taxation from Arizona State University, and an undergraduate degree in accounting and Spanish from Franciscan University. A certified public accountant, he worked for Coopers & Lybrand in Phoenix, Arizona, and Arthur Andersen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a tax accountant before becoming a Franciscan.

About John McKeegan, J.D., President, Mount Aloysius College:

John N. McKeegan, J.D. became Mount Aloysius College's 5th president on June 1, 2020.

During McKeegan's tenure, Mount Aloysius has achieved its largest incoming class since 2016; launched a $15 million residence hall upgrade; initiated the "Future Heroes" program to address the region's need for more nurses; received full Academic Center of Excellence designation in Cyber Defense from the NSA and Department of Homeland Security; and has adopted an innovative 5-year strategic plan, "Growing Greater."

Before his presidency at the Mount, McKeegan served for a decade at Linfield University, in McMinnville, Oregon. His roles included Advisor to the President and General Counsel, and also Vice President for Institutional Advancement and General Counsel. Prior to his time at Linfield, McKeegan enjoyed private practice in Arizona and Oregon.

Upon admission to the bar in Arizona, McKeegan joined Fennemore Craig, P.C. (the oldest firm in that state), and also practiced with Shockman & McKeegan, P.C. After moving to Oregon to raise a growing family, McKeegan joined the oldest firm there, and was a named partner at the Haugeberg, Rueter law firm.

McKeegan received a Bachelor of Arts, with Honors in English, from Bucknell University. He then earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame. In 2016, he attended Harvard's Graduate School of Education Institute for Educational Management.

Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, McKeegan volunteers with a number of community organizations, along with his wife, Theresa. John and Theresa are blessed with six children and have three incredible granddaughters.