Meet Gareth Jones
Rev’d. Father Gareth A. Jones, JCD.
Catholic Chaplain to Cardiff University
My “parish” is not a geographic area, but the University community. The life of the Catholic Chaplaincy is rooted in the daily celebration of Mass in the chapel. Confessions and individual spiritual direction are available daily on call.
There is a strong culture of family at the Catholic Chaplaincy as well as encouraging students to use our library for study and the common room for recreation. The kitchens and the Aquinas hall table tennis tables are available to staff and students. Staff and students are provided with the numerical door code which avails them unlimited access throughout the year.
I live my priestly life in the midst of staff and students. I am responsible for providing spiritual, sacramental and pastoral care for Catholic students and staff. Preparation for baptisms, receptions into the Catholic Church, and marriages of staff or students make it like any normal parish. Non-Catholic staff and students drop in from time to time to ask for prayers for a special intention or to talk through their fears or problems. My nearly twenty years as a priest means that nothing shocks me and my belief in God’s unconditional love for each person only increases. If it is apparent to me that a concern requires specialised clinical help and not spiritual direction I will encourage and support the person to visit the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place.
I was ordained a priest in 1994. I served curacies in Maesteg, Bridgend, Newport and Cardiff. I undertook further higher studies in United States and Venice. I was appointed the Catholic Chaplain to Cardiff University in 2009.
Areas of Interest:
I try to put my canon law degrees to good use by taking on contentious cases when approached by solicitors. I only tend to say yes when I’m told their previous requests for legal assistance have met with refusals. I enjoy hill walking, the opera, theatre and Jazz. I enjoy hosting the Chaplain’s Tuesday Dinners (February - May) when I welcome a dozen staff and students to join me for dinner in my dining room. The conversation is always varied. I end the evening with an invitation to try one of my homemade infusions. In Rome one would never end without a grappa or limoncello, so I decided when I came to the University to introduce the custom and experiment in making my own: my latest libation is liquorice and lime. Not for the faint hearted!