As the academic year begins to draw to a close, Campus Ministry is able to reflect upon some very special memories. We welcomed the Class of ’18 by sending them on a quest to find their true selves at the Knights of the Round Table event in September. We prayed with grieving members of our community at the “Blue” Christmas Eve Mass in Our Lady of the Woods Chapel. We had two wonderful student-led retreats at Hurricane Hills Lake. We had a beautiful interfaith Seder meal. We co-sponsored the India Day Utsav, where we explored the rich culture of the homeland of our Franciscan friars. We celebrated Thomas Merton’s 100th birthday with myriad special events and speakers. We hosted the beautiful St. John’s Bible, a stunningly modern, English-language illuminated manuscript from Collegeville, Minnesota. We are grateful for all that has happened, and we look forward to next year with hope and excitement.
I’m sure many of you are looking forward to having your student home again after a year in college, and we are called to prayerfully discern how we can best welcome them back. The shift in maturity is best realized when, as parents, you treat them as the young adults they are becoming. As staff of a campus, we often verbalize the visible changes we witness between first and second year students, and some of that change is because of the way in which they have been welcomed home and called by their parents into new responsibilities and mature conversations during the summer. I invite you to consider how your invitations to that maturity will occur.
Our faith-based groups are already busy planning the programs and initiatives for next year. A special focus for 2015-2016 will be a NetVUE grant which enables us to offer several classes across the curriculum that deal with the topics of discernment and vocations. These courses are indicated in the catalogue as “Little Way” classes. Please encourage your child to take one in his or her course of study. Meanwhile, we pray that you and your sons and daughters have a blessed summer filled with reconnection, hard work, restful play and joy!
Dr. Karen Shadle, Assistant Director of Catholic Worship and Campus Ministry