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!

Saturday Retreats Resume

One Saturday morning a month, the Catholic Stangs take a four hour break from the stresses and stressors of being college students to really be able to focus on being a beloved child of God.  We begin with Mass, Reconciliation and Rosary before having breakfast and catching up with each other.  Then, we watch videos, have small group discussion, laugh and pray together.  We wrap up with a half hour of Adoration.

We are grateful for Father Denny's offering of the Mass and Father Shawn's ministry to us through Adoration.

Join us for our next retreat on Saturday, February 3rd at 8a.  We will begin with Mass at Holy Redeemer Church before coming to the CRC for breakfast and small group activities.  This will also meet the requirements for a First Saturday plenary indulgence.  If you want to know more, join us next Saturday!


Thursday, January 25, 2024

Six Weeks With the Bible: A Student Athlete Group

This year, Holy Redeemer's Catholic Campus Ministry has kicked off their first student athlete specific Bible study.  Six Weeks With the Bible is an opportunity to take short walks through areas of the Bible that are appropriate for the time, season or circumstances.  As we prepare for Lent, our students are preparing themselves by walking through Exodus with Father Paul.

This group meets at 9p on Wednesday nights to accomodate all of the different practice times.  At the table this week, we have Dance, Basketball, Baseball and Football represented, along with the person who was the originator of Catholic Campus Ministry at the time SMSU was founded.  All student athletes are welcome!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Lectio: Peter

The second of our small group Bible studies to highlight is our Sunday evening session:  Lectio:  Peter.  This study focuses on Peter and the role he plays through the story of Salvation History.  It is a comrehensive approach, looking at Peter as the whole man he was.  Dr. Tim Gray, President of the Augustine Institute, is the person leading the study through Formed.  

In last week's session, we were able to experience a little of the living arrangements Peter, and the others, would have experienced through Dr. Gray's time at an archaelogical dig.  If you are looking for a study that gives you some contextual opportunities for understanding, in addition to the direct Biblical aspects, we invite you to join us on Sunday evenings after supper (except the nights where we have a Catholicism 101 session).  This is free and open to all students who want to have a better understanding of Peter, the rock on whom our Church was built.

Lectio: Eucharist (A Women's Study Group)

One of the beautiful parts of Campus Ministry is the opportunity for our students to grow together in their faith.  Chris Stefanick, at SEEK24, said the most important part of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is the five person Bible studies happening on campuses across the world; it isn't the large scale conference that happens once a year.  Here at SMSU, we are privileged to have six study groups currently meeting.  We will be highlighting each one in the near future.

The first one to mention is our women's study group who is using the Formed Bible Study:  Lectio:  Eucharist.  Dr. Brant Pitre, a professor at the Augustine Institute who has also served at Notre Dame Seminary, is leading us through the Biblical understanding, and roots, of the Mass.  We have a group of 4-5 women who meet each Thursday afternoon for study and conversation.  If you are a woman on campus at SMSU, you are invited to join us!  It is never too late to dive deeper into our faith in community with other women who share the same desires of their heart to grow in their relationship with the Lord.  We hope to see you at the Campus Religious Center soon!


Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Newman Planning Session

 Once a month, our students get together to plan for upcoming activities.  Tonight was the first session of the semester.  Stay tuned for information about retreats, the Valentine's dinner, Lenten activities and more!  They have a full agenda planned!

Thank you to Emma, Maddi, Stephen, Michaela, Levi, Nolan, Father Shawn, Olivia and Luci for all of the good ideas!  We missed you, Abbey!

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Spring Semester Schedules!

The schedules for our spring semester Sacraments and small groups, as well as our January retreat opportunities, are here!  We hope to see you all very soon!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Daily Mass Resumes

One of the huge blessings of our Parish for the Campus is the commitment by the priests to offer daily Mass two times per week.  Each Tuesday and Thursday, classes on campus are suspended from 11:50a-1:30p to allow students to participate in a variety of club meetings and other activities.  Daily Mass is offered at the Campus Religious Center at 12n on each of those days.

While we are blessed with the support of the priests, we are also blessed to have a growing number of students who take an active part in the ministries of the Mass.  Today, Abbey led the rosary prior to Mass.  Olivia was our lector.

We are also grateful for the physical presence of the people of the Parish as we worship together as one community.  Join us Tuesdays and Thursdays, through the semester, at 12n for Mass.  A free lunch is available for students after Mass.


The Holy Family Returns!

Over winter break, our local Knights of Columbus, Council 1621, brought the statues of the Holy Family in for restoration.  The front right of the Chapel has looked a little desolate for the past month, but that ends today!  One of the Knights returned Mary, Joseph and Jesus to the Chapel this morning.

We are so grateful to Knights of Columbus Council 1621, and those who supported their statue restoration project.  It is wonderful to have the statues back.  They look wonderful!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Living the Corporal Works of Mercy: Bring Drink to the Thirsty (with Roger!)

Each month, we have a guest from the community who shares with members of the Newman Club how to live out one of the Corporal Works of Mercy in their daily lives.  This month, Roger Ricke, who has worked at our local Hy-Vee store since he was in high school, joined us to discuss "Bring Drink to the Thirsty."

Father Shawn first shared with us about the Corporal Work of Mercy:  Bringing Drink to the Thirsty.  While we often think of this work of mercy as specifically related to physical thirst, it is also related to satisfying the thirst of those who long for more in their relationship with the Lord.

Then, Roger spoke about the programs that Hy-Vee offers.  For purchases of their "One Step" water, a portion of proceeds are earmarked for distribution to groups who help bring more wells to areas throughout the world where access to water is an issue.  He shared how water shortages negatively impact people because of illness as well as the burden of labor, that largely rests on the women and girls of the area as they are typically the ones who get the water for the community.

This is an excellent opportunity for our young adults to be aware of the power in their shopping dollars as they make decisions on brands they purchase and where they purchase from to provide support to the community.

Thank you to Roger for sharing with us, and the One Step water!

Adoration, Tuesdays at 6pm!

Our regular schedule for the semester is gearing up!  Please join us on Tuesdays from 6p-6:45p for Adoration in the Chapel at the Campus Religious Center.  (Reconciliation is available most Tuesdays during the same time!)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

They're Back!

And just like that, we are back into the swing of campus life.  Our first Sunday evening with students on campus, we had several new students join us at Mass, 18 people stayed for supper, and then we took care of all of the undecorating from Christmas at the Campus Religious Center.  We are so often reminded here that many hands make light work, and it was proven again this week!

Welcome back to campus!  We are so glad to have you here!