FATHER WIL TYRRELL: Transforming Leaders of Tomorrow



Image courtesy of Mville Alumni WordPress

Father Wil Tyrrell knows how to leave an impression on those who listen to his sermons. With vast knowledge and a strong passion in his faith, Father Wil lets you leave church on Sunday feeling you have learned something about life and how to live it. “The gospel has to be relatable to our everyday lives,” Father Wil said.

Yaneris Michel, a Marketing Communication Management graduate student, told me about all the activities Father Wil is engaged in, from giving mass on Sunday, to leading the Duchesne Center, visits to  the UN events and directing the Study Abroad Program.  Father Wil has a great deal of energy and commitment or as Yaneris described, “He has the Holy Spirit within him.”

Craig Donelly, the Community Service Coordinator for the Duchesne Center describes Father Wil not just as a boss, but also as a father figure and a friend.

At first Father Wil did not see his vocation to become a friar himself. In fact, it was one of his professors during his Master’s degree program that pointed it out to him. “Wil, don’t you realize you have a vocation?” he said to him. Father Wil’s major was in World Religion and Literature at SUNY/Stony Brook.  He completed a Master degree in Biblical Studies from Fordham University, then entered the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement at Graymoor. Father Wil completed the Master in Divinity degree for ordination and then went on to complete a doctorate in ministry (D. Min.) from the Graduate theological Foundation in South bend, IN.

As the director of the Duchesne Center, Father Wil incorporates a broad range of activities from the Midnight Run and All Souls Soup Kitchen, to Service Learning that involve caring for children, , homeless, and the elderly in the US and abroad.  Father Wil stressed about the importance of learning through service. “First of all,” he said, “Most students haven’t travelled. Secondly, they get involved in the communities, and this is a transformative process. You learn as you do service for other people.”

The Center is a crucial part of Manhattanville College’s mission. Since the programs are primarily run by students, it therefore shapes them into the ethical and socially responsibly leaders for the future that the college is educating them to be, Father Wil explained.

In the hundred over years this institution has been around, Manhattanville’s legacy has always been the education it gives their students. Father Wil’s seeks to complement the education students receive in the classroom with the various activities in the Duchesne Center, the Study Abroad Program, the visits to the UN events and even his reflective sermons in church.