Paul Barnas '24 is heavily involved on campus academically and through music ministry - even though his freshman year hasn't technically started.
Barnas sings during the 11:00 a.m. campus Mass on Sundays and also plays the piano. He's been singing, and playing the piano, since elementary school, and by high school, he was performing for Catholic Central High School Masses in Troy, NY. So, it's in no way surprising that Barnas found his way to music ministry at Siena. But, it is a little unusual that he got here so quickly.
Barnas is a first generation American. His parents both emigrated from Poland. Barnas has attended Catholic schools his entire life, and for several years, the universe has dropped heavy-handed hints about Siena. His Spanish teacher Br. Edgardo Zea often spoke about Franciscan values. Fr. Mark Reamer, vice president for mission, often led his high school Masses. Then, as a senior, Siena and Catholic High developed the Crusader to Saint program - Barnas took six Siena courses on campus while still in high school. Plus, Barnas was accepted into Siena's 3+4 articulation program with SUNY College of Optometry.
He will major in biology and plans to simultaneously work part-time as a technician/clinical assistant at a local ophthalmology practice. After graduation, optometry school with the goal of becoming an optometrist (eye doctor). As for the singing...
Barnas checked music ministry as an interest on his application. This summer, College Chaplain Fr. Larry Anderson reached out to make an introduction. By then, Barnas had served as president of his high school's music ministry program. He had trained his classmates to sing and perform at high school Masses. He couldn't wait to get started at Siena. So, he didn't wait. Barnas is now regularly performing at Sunday morning Mass.
"I was invited to come experience one of Siena’s Masses in person, and instantly fell in love with the inclusive atmosphere and enthusiasm. I’m very proud to be a Siena Saint and hope to continue my involvement in Siena’s music ministry throughout the rest of my college career!"