Fr. John Rapisarda, Chaplain/Director of Catholic Campus Ministry
Fr. John, the third of four children of Greg and Carol Rapisarda, was raised in Bel Air, MD, and went to St. Margaret grade school and John Carroll high school. In 2000, he graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a bachelor’s in history. Growing up in the faith and having that nurtured in college, Fr. John discerned his vocation in his senior year of college. He went to St. Vincent and Mt. St. Mary’s Seminaries, and was ordained in 2008, holding an M.Div. and Master of Arts in Systematic Theology. It is a joy for him to be a spiritual father.
In 2003, Fr. John’s Dad was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The following year, his Mom was diagnosed with cancer. After an almost two-year valiant and holy battle, Carol died in 2006. In August of 2008, Fr. John’s Dad entered St. Mary’s Seminar, and was ordained a priest in 2010. They are the first father-son duo in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Fr. John’s first assignment was Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Essex. In 2011, he was assigned as both Chaplain for Catholic Campus Ministry at UMBC and Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City.
Fr. Joshua Laws
A lifelong parishioner of St. Stephen’s Parish in Bradshaw, Maryland and an alumnus of Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Father Laws has always had a passion for athletics, enjoying wrestling, soccer, football and rugby. He has coached rugby at the high school and collegiate levels. Also active in the Boy Scouts of America, he reached the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduating from college, he taught religion at The John Carroll School in Bel Air. He began priestly formation following a period of discernment that included spiritual retreats, service projects and practicing the Spiritual Exercises developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Fr. Josh was ordained last summer, and comes to us with a myriad of ministry experience – not only in several years teaching at John Carroll High School in Bel Air, but also studying spirituality in Rome, serving with a host of charitable organizations, and much more.
Becky Needham, Pastoral Assistant
Becky Needham was born and raised in Lansdale, PA, about an hour north of Philadelphia. Growing up she loved art and music, and playing sports - especially softball. She was also blessed with a great youth group in middle school, where she first embraced the Catholic faith as her own and experienced the joys of faith-based community.
At one point, Becky’s life plan was to play ball at a college in New England, study Theology, and eventually enter religious life to live happily ever after with Jesus, serving the Church as long as she could. But a back injury and a few long talks with God led her to Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, to study Theology and Religious Education. She reluctantly put down her bat and glove but picked up the guitar, praying to become a worship leader and lead people closer to God through music. She is grateful to have served at FUS in music ministry, the Festivals of Praise, retreats, summer conferences, pilgrimages, and still loves sharing this passion with the local Church.
Becky and her husband Trevor dated through college and married shortly after graduation. After several years stationed in Germany and Missouri with the US Army, they are happy to be back on the east coast near family and friends. Trevor is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at UMBC. They are loving life in Catonsville with their three kiddos: John Paul, Clare and Joshua.
Tess Babcock, Campus Ministry Coordinator
Tess entered the Church at Easter in 2013 after a long search for the Truth. She is currently a senior at UMBC studying History with hopes of continuing on to graduate school for Theology. After over 20 years of moving frequently around the country, Tess’s family lives in North Carolina and she is the oldest of 4 children. Her husband, Daniel, is also a student where he studies Biology and Spanish with plans for medical school.
Hannah Jones, Alumni Relations Coordinator
Hannah is a Catonsville native who was raised Catholic but grew into her faith in a deeper way through her experience with the Catholic Retrievers. After spending four years at UMBC, during which time she both benefited immensely from Catholic Campus Ministry and served as an officer for the group, Hannah graduated with a B.A. in history in May 2015. She is currently working at the Reisterstown Public Library as well as volunteering with the Baltimore Museum of Industry, while taking the odd Latin class at UMBC in preparation for her graduate studies. She plans to attend the Catholic University of America for Library Science and Early Modern history in the Fall.