.- The incoming president of Franciscan University of Steubenville has spent the past few months speaking, and listening, to students, alumni, and friends of the university.

He’s become well-known for a phrase he uses.

“We don’t just want God to bless what we’re doing; we want to bless what God is doing,” Fr. David Pivonka, TOR, tells students and alumni.

And God, Pivonka told CNA, is doing new things at the Ohio university he now leads.

God “is revealing himself to us and making it clear that he has a plan and a desire for us,” the priest said during an Oct. 3 interview, the day before his inauguration as the university’s seventh president.

Pivonka said there is “a newness, or freshness that is going on,” at the university. And he insists that newness is not about him, but about God’s Providence.

“In my own life and in the life of the friars in our community, we are just seeing different pieces come together and different people being placed here, and I think God is doing a really great thing, and a prophetic thing.”

He said God is inviting the university to a “refocusing” of its identity, and its priorities. How that unfolds will depend on prayer and discernment.

“It’s really keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, being faithful to what he is asking us to do,” Pivonka told CNA.

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