Chaplain Walter Cuenin leaving campus to receive cancer treatment
Last Wednesday, Catholic Chaplain and Coordinator of the Interfaith Chaplaincy Reverend Walter Cuenin sent an email to the Brandeis Catholic Student organization announcing that he would be leaving the following day to receive treatment for cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Cuenin did not provide an estimated time for his return to campus but wrote that "I look forward to seeing you when my work is done."
Cuenin described the treatment program as a Church-sponsored course for priests "to get them in better shape" and said he hoped to address not only his cancer but also "other psychological and spiritual issues."
According to Cuenin's email, evening Mass will continue as usual with a series of other priests filling in for him.
"Father Cuenin is also the kind of person who would keep news of his illness quiet unless otherwise necessary," remarked Mathew Kuruvinakunnel '15, a member of Brandeis' Catholic community, in a message to the Justice. "Naturally, I am saddened by this, and it goes without saying that I hope and pray for his recovery," he continued.
Flower Le '15 wrote in a message to the Justice that she knew about his cancer when she attended a Catholic retreat with him recently "but he seemed as cheerful as ever so I didn't expected [sic] the news." Le continued, "Through his words, I found a certain comfort with God and I can only pray that he is receiving the best treatment possible and he returns to Brandeis as soon as possible."
Rabbi Elyse Winick '86, who works with Cuenin as a member of the Interfaith Chaplaincy, declined to comment, as she wished to respect Cuenin's request for privacy. However, Winick did say that "Father Walter is in all of our prayers."
Other members of the Interfaith Chaplaincy did not respond to request for comment by press time.