Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Living the Corporal Works of Mercy: Visit the Prisoners, with Father Paul

Our February Corporal Works of Mercy speaker was Father Paul, who shared his story of prison ministry.  His prison ministry started in Marshall, with a Campus connection.  From here, he went to Meeker County.  The prison ministry he started in 1985 is still going strong today.

Next, he was assigned in Appleton, where he spent time in service to the 1700 prisoners incarcerated there.  Father Paul shared stories of Monday evening Masses, Tuesday group discussions and Wednesday one on ones with prisoners.  He found it to be an incredibly interesting and rewarding time in his life.

His prison ministry experiences concluded in 2011, when he returned to Marshall and was invited to lead a Bible study for the prisoners at the Lyon County jail.  All told, Father Paul had experiences that spanned six decades and prison ministry from local county jails to Federal prisons.  Next time you see him, you should ask him to share with you his stories, too!

Making Meatloaf

The number one requested meal at the Campus Religious Center is meatloaf.  Tonight was the night for meatloaf making lessons.  If you want the recipe, check with Abbey, Olivia and Luci...they might share!

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

"Almost" Valentine's Celebration!

Tonight, we celebrated "Almost" Valentine's Day with our annual pasta dinner.  It is an opportunity for good food and fellowship!  We had 12 students join us for dinner, with two dinners that were to go.  The students stayed and visited for almost two hours this evening.  What a beautiful opportunity for a respite just before the start of Lent!

Our appreciation to Emma, Levi, Luci and Olivia who did the decorating, and led the clean-up committee, as well as Doreen and Yvonne, who handled the dishes! A special thank YOU to Dave, who spent the day making his famous red sauce!  

Monday, February 12, 2024

And A New Lector!

What a great week in Catholic Campus Ministry!  Not only do we have a new Rosary leader, we have a new lector as well!  Thank you to Buay for taking on this leadership role within our Mass ministries.

Friday, February 9, 2024

A New Rosary Leader!

Abbey and Olivia have been our consistent Rosary leaders this school year.  Beginning this week, we have a new volunteer to welcome to the rotation.  Ashton, who will be Confirmed this school year, has become a regular at the daily Masses.  This week, he also led the Rosary for the first time.  We are excited to see new faces taking on leadership roles within our faith community.  Next time you see him, let him know how much he is appreciated!

College Students Serving in the Parish

Our Parish is so blessed this year by our Campus Ministry programs in many ways.  These students are leaders in so many ways.  They help with our Mass ministries.  Tuesday night Adoration is well attended.  They support each other in community.  One of the blessings, though, is the way they reach out into our Parish community.  This year, Olivia and Luci have been the teachers for one of our third grade Faith Formation classes.  Their witness in sharing their faith provides a model for our young people to follow that will remain with them throughout their lives.

Thank you, Olivia and Luci!  May the Lord richly bless you in your endeavors!

Kapaun's Men

Father Emil Kapaun was a priest who served as a military chaplain during the Korean War.  He was a prisoner of war,  He spent seven months in a prisoner of war camp before dying of pneumonia.  While he was there, he led the other prisoners by his example of a virtuous life.  Formed has created a series of videos featuring Father Kapaun, challenging men to live as he did.

We are grateful for Nolan, a member of the Holy Redeemer Parish, who is leading our men's group this semester.  We are equally grateful for the participation of the men of our Newman Club in this series.  If you are a man on SMSU's campus, who is free at 5pm on Thursdays, who enjoys free food and great fellowship, you are invited to join us at the Campus Religious Center!


Saturday, February 3, 2024

Game Night at the CRC

Our open CRC game night for February was this first Saturday!  Movie theater popcorn, movies, games and snacks!  What more could we need?  You!  Join us for our next Saturday night at the CRC on Saturday, March 16, beginning at 7pm!

February Retreat

Spring semester retreats are harder to have on First Saturdays because of the way the schedule falls for breaks.  February, though, not only allowed for us to have our retreat on the First Saturday, but also the feast day for St. Blaise!  Our retreat began with Mass, throat blessings, Rosary and Reconciliation before we went to the Campus Religious Center.  

Our group today was a little smaller than we typically see, but sometimes, that is just what it is supposed to be.  After a meal of Tater Tot Hotdish (breakfast style!) and yogurt with fresh fruit, we tackled the topic of Ephesians 5:21-30.  We had the opportunity for great questions, answers and general conversation about living our lives in a way the reflects our submission to the Lord's call in our lives.  There was time for individual reflection and prayer partner discussion.  The day concluded with time in Adoration.  It was a beautiful morning spent in community with each other.

You are invited to join us for our next retreat, Saturday March 16th, beginning at the 8am Mass at Holy Redeemer Church.  Those who are in town are welcome to gather at Holy Redeemer Church on Saturday, March 2nd for the First Saturday devotions, but we know many will be gone for their Spring Break trip.

Sanctity for Human Life Month!

January is recognized as Sanctity for Human Life Month.  Our college students took this opportunity to plan an evening focused on how we can be aware of the Church teachings that preserve a respect for life.  We watched a movie which explained Saint Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae" (On Human Life).  With that in mind, we also had a companion service project:  decorating onesies for donation to Birthright with fabric markers.  We appreciated the opportunity to come together to recognize the dignity of every human life.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Catholicism 101: Not Just Spirits, Faith Incarnate

In our continuing "Catholicism 101" series with Father Tony, the current question was related to the Corporal Works of Mercy.  We have a monthly series of speakers who share about one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, with an invitation to our students for ways for them to each consider how they are called to serve the people around them.  While the speakers have been good, and the information has been important, we were missing an element of the "why" we do them.

Father Tony had answers to the "WHY?" tonight!  First, our relationship with the Lord is expressed through our relationships with other people.  If we truly love the Lord, and put Him at the center of our lives, it will be reflected in how we interact with the people in our lives.

Second, Father Tony addressed the question of whether we are saved by faith alone by referring us to Matthew 25, where the final judgment is addressed.  Six of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy were addressed as the sheep and the goats were sorted:  when you fed the hungry, when you clothed the nake, when you gave drink to the thirsty, you did this for the Lord.  Those people were welcomed to inherit the kingdom.  Those who did not, also did not for the Lord, and were turned away.

Corporal refers to the body.  By calling our attention to serving others through the Corporal Works of Mercy, we are reminded that Jesus cares about us, and our lives, in the present, not just in the eternal sense.  We need to be aware of the needs of people around us.  We know people who didn't have enough food in their homes.  We might be people who didn't have enough food in our homes.  It is our responsibility to see those needs in others, and to help meet those needs.

Jesus was quite clear.  What we do to others, we do to Him.  

Thank you to Father Tony for sharing his witness with us tonight.  Thank you to all of our students who took the time out of their schedules to grow their faith in community with each other.

Tropical Night

Tropical Night is a long standing tradition at SMSU.  It brings all of the excitement of the fall semester Homecoming to the spring semester "Winter Meltdown" tradition.  The on-campus celebrations conclude with the double header women's and men's basketball games.  Catholic Campus Ministries is committed to having the Campus Religious Center open on those nights to offer a space for students to gather for snacks, games and activities without the pressures so often associated with bigger campus events.

Both the women's and men's team brought home solid wins!  We were happy to be a part of the event in our own way!

Sledding Day Cancelled :(

Who would have thought a sledding day in January would need to be cancelled in Minnesota because the 35+ degree weather had melted all of the snow?!  We sure didn't!  However, that didn't slow down our Catholic Stangs.  They just adjusted the course and gathered together anyway!  Sub sandwiches, card games, hot chocolate and cookies were part of the revised plan, although, maybe we should have had an urban hike with our unseasonably warm temperatures!

Join us next Saturday, February 3rd, for our next Saturday evening of open activities at the Campus Religious Center.  It will be a game night!