Monday, November 29, 2021

Thanksgiving Day 2021

 On Thanksgiving Day, 57 to go meals were sent out to those on Campus.  The meals included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, homemade dinner rolls, pumpkin pie fudge and strawberry shortcake.  

It took a village to put together the meal.  Our grateful appreciation to the donors who provided dessert, dinner rolls, turkeys and funding for the rest.  We especially appreciate the students the rolled silverware, prepped food, wrapped fudge and decorated the space to serve our guests.

This was our largest number of meals served in our sixth year of providing dinner.  We are already looking forward to next year!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Catholicism 101: As We Wait in Joyful Hope

 On Sunday, November 21, 2021, Father Tony shared the next in his continuing Catholicism 101 series:  As We Wait in Joyful Hope, a discussion about Advent.  

Advent is a season that matches what the northern hemisphere is experiencing.  We are preparing for the darkness to lengthen to the longest, darkest night of the year, just before Christmas.  With Christmas, we see the beginning of the longer days and shorter nights as we gain more and more time in daylight.  It is a time of waiting, a time of silence, a time of listening.

While Advent and Lent have some similarities, in Lent, we turn to God.  However, in Advent, God comes to us.  God has made promises to us and we see in the first reading of Advent how He promises to fulfill what has been said.   

Father Tony shared about those with whom we will journey through this Advent.  First, is John the Baptist. He challenges us to pay attention to the call of the Lord so we don't miss it.  We conclude with Mary, and her wonderful Fiat, let it be done to me as you say.  Like us, she doesn't know what lies before her.  She only knows that through God, it will all be as it should.  She invites us, during this season of Advent, to make our own fiat, to be ready for the Lord, to trust it will all be good, and we can draw comfort in a God of promises.

Music plays an important role in Father Tony's life and he shared two songs that speak to his heart about this season. The first is "Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol)".  You can listen to it here:  Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol)  The second is "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" in Spanish.  There are some subtleties that differ in translation between English and Spanish in many areas.  Veni, means "to go", but it is a word that means the action has already started.  Not only is Emmanuel going to come some day, He is on His way.  You can find a version with the lyrics here:  "Veni, Veni Emmanuel" 

As he concluded, Father Tony shared with each of the students a sheep he brought back for them from Mexico.  It is a visual reminder of our role as the sheep in the flock and there is a shepherd who loves and cares for us.  

Father Tony left us all with a challenge:  to seek the quiet moments in this season, to remember this is all part of the waiting, and to listen to what God has to say to each of us as He is coming to us this Advent.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Game Night at the CRC

 On Saturday, November 13, the Newman Club, along with Lutheran Campus Ministries, sponsored a game night at the CRC.  Special thanks to Nate and Moses for prepping the delicious appetizers!  David brought the games.  We all pitched in and played.  It was a good night and we look forward to the next one.  Keep an eye out for the December Coffee and Cake Study Nights coming to the Campus Religious Center soon!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Catholicism 101: Friends of God and Prophets

 On Sunday, October 31, 2021, Father Tony join us for our second session of Catholicism 101.  Our topic for October was the saints!  Last year, we had a focus on the official process for a person to become a saint.  This year, our discussion was a little more personal. 

Father Tony has three siblings that were born, baptized and died shortly after birth.  In his family home, growing up, Theresa, Joseph and David were his family's personal saints they prayed to for intercession in heaven.  While the formal process of canonization may not be something anyone in our personal experience going through, the reality is all who are in heaven, recognized or not, are saints.  

At this particular time in the Church year, it is good to remember those who have gone before us.  Our prayers for the souls still in purgatory may open the gates of Heaven for them. If they have already passed through those gates, it is an invitation for them to pray for us, our needs, our concerns and our joys.

A book Father Tony highly recommends is "Friends of God and Prophets", by Elizabeth Johnson.  It is a challenge for us to participate in the divine, to be in communion with those who are with us today and those who have gone before.  It is also a reminder that when we pass away, it is good to be remembered as a Friend of God, and a Prophet who shared His Good News with the world around us.