Fr. Pete McCormick C.S.C Becomes Assistant Vice President

Notre Dame publicized two press releases (here and here) announcing the promotions of four members of the Campus Ministry Staff in November of 2022.

The university announced that Fr. Pete McCormick, C.S.C. who was promoted from Director of Campus Ministry to Assistant Vice President for Campus Ministry, “will lead the University’s faith formation, spiritual life and liturgical offerings of undergraduate, graduate and professional students … he will continue to oversee the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, provide pastoral support to all faculty and staff and guide the mission of the Office of Campus Ministry in collaboration with the division strategic plan.”

Additionally, three employees who were formerly Assistant Directors in Campus Ministry are now Directors. Tami Schmitz, who has worked in Campus Ministry for 25 years, is now the Director of Pastoral Care: “She will lead and coordinate all programming and staffing related to spiritual direction, grief ministry, vocational discernment and faculty and staff chaplaincy,” according to the university.

Kate Barrett is now the Director of Liturgy and “is charged with leading the liturgical life of the campus community, including all sacramental and liturgical opportunities in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the 32 on-campus residence halls.” Additionally, she will help students with “Masses, prayer services and other opportunities for spiritual expression and worship at the University.” Barrett obtained both undergraduate (Program of Liberal Studies) and graduate (Master of Divinity) degrees at Notre Dame and has worked in Campus Ministry for over two decades.

Mike Buckler, who also earned his Master of Divinity Degree at Notre Dame, joined the Notre Dame Campus Ministry staff in 2022 after around fifteen years of working in ministry. He “oversees all ministerial outreach and engagement related to faith formation. This includes retreats, pilgrimages, service-related and social justice programs and events, and multicultural and ecumenical ministry.”

Jessica Schneider, a senior at Notre Dame and Anchor Intern with Campus Ministry, shared her perspective with the Rover: I have had the privilege of working with Fr. Pete, Tami Schmitz, Kate Barrett, and Mike Buckler … They are all fantastic leaders and I am looking forward to seeing how they will continue to impact this campus for the better in these new positions.”

Fr. McCormick, who is the priest in residence in Baumer Hall and the chaplain for the Notre Dame basketball team, was the Director of Campus Ministry from 2015 onwards. He obtained his Master of Divinity degree at Notre Dame in addition to his Executive Master of Business Administration degree. Fr. McCormick shared with the Rover that “the adjusted title emphasizes the importance of faith and formation that’s been outlined in the recently released Division of Student Affairs Strategic Plan.”

Describing the significance of the changed roles for both him and the other staff, he asserted that they “will enable Campus Ministry to better align with critical partners throughout the University to ensure greater collaboration and the creation of new ministerial opportunities related to student life, liturgical practice, and pastoral care.”

The Office of Campus Ministry is part of the Division of Student Affairs at Notre Dame, which is led by Fr. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C., Vice President for Student Affairs. This division is comprised of other sectors of the university, including the Family Resource Center and RecSports. In an interview with the Rover, Fr. Brian Ching, C.S.C., Rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, noted that it makes sense that as Fr. Olinger leads the Division of Student Affairs through its Strategic Planning process, Fr. Pete should share the same rank and title as those who lead other sectors of the Division. According to him, these changes are “certainly not going to increase or decrease our Catholic mission.”

According to Fr. Ching, the distinct sectors of Student Affairs “all share the similar mission, which is meeting the needs of our students,” though he specified that Campus Ministry’s specific way of meeting these needs is distinct. “Our ministry is the spiritual health and well-being of our student population.”

You can often find Kathryn Bowers on campus sporting the beanie that Notre Dame Right to Life Club provided for those who went on the March for Life. Pro-life and comfy? So clutch! You can reach Kathryn at

Photo Credit: Notre Dame Campus Ministry