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Suite in Campus Ministry Named in Eleanor Kelly Hartnett’s Honor

Tuesday, September 17, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angeline Boyer
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After a special Mass at Saint Peter Chapel celebrating the life and memory of Eleanor Kelly Hartnett, wife of Saint Peter’s alumnus Bernard M. Hartnett, Jr. ’51, friends and family gathered at the Office of Campus Ministry in the Mac Mahon Student Center to witness the dedication of the associate director of campus ministry for community service’s suite named in her honor.

While not a graduate of the University, Eleanor attended many functions and events at Saint Peter’s as a guest with her husband of 60 years. Through these events, she got to know many of the Jesuits and administrators on campus, and formed strong relationships with each and every one of them.

"She loved Saint Peter’s,” said Bernard. "She particularly loved the Jesuits. I think she would be thrilled to have an office named in her honor in campus ministry.”

Eleanor’s son, Edward A. Hartnett, describes his mother as a "graduate of the ‘School of Hard Knocks,’ rightly claiming more common sense than many with fancy degrees. She was a good, strong and loving woman who was fiercely loyal and tough as nails. Never one to be materialistic, she was an incredibly generous woman who was always warm and welcoming, tough but forgiving.”

"It might seem odd to have a room in campus ministry named for her,” said Edward. "She was always skeptical of those who advertised their religious commitments too loudly…but she was a faithful and prayerful woman, and what she did in taking care of others was ministry. You might say she was engaged in lay ministry before most of us had ever heard the term.”

After Rev. Rocco Danzi, S.J., director of campus ministry, blessed the room with holy water and prayer, attendees gathered for a reception of light refreshments, where stories and memories of Eleanor were recalled and shared amongst those present.

Naming opportunities remain throughout the Mac Mahon Student Center. To learn more, contact Leah Leto at or (201) 761-6110.

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