Sunday, July 18, 2010

Campus Ministry

It is always good to see a campus ministry grow and if St. Mary's can play some small part in another campus ministry's growth, we are happy to do so.

Here is a story from the Diocese of Beaumont:
Growing Campus Ministry helps grow the Church
June 1, 2010 by easttexascatholic

Every year more and more students are enrolling at Lamar University, Beaumont, and with every enrollment is an opportunity for vocations.

An important part of college life – whether the student stays at home or goes off to live in a different city or state – should not only be what classes to take or where to live, but should include where the student will be continuing to practice their Catholic faith.The transition between high school and college is critical when it comes to continuing to practice the Catholic faith. It’s easy to get caught up with all the new and exciting things at college campuses.

As a solution, many colleges and universities around the country have active Catholic Student Centers and with active participation at student centers come more vocation opportunities.

St. Mary Catholic Center at Texas A&M University is a great example of how a strong campus ministry can create a successful vocations program.

St. Mary Catholic Center serves Texas A&M University and Blinn College. Marcel LeJeune has been the assistant director of campus ministry there since 2006.

“We’ve built a culture of vocational discernment here,” LeJeune said. “We encourage our students to really go through the process of discerning what God’s call is for each one of them individually. And that they each need to do that to be able to understand it’s not just a decision I make on my own but this is something that God has given to me. It’s a gift.”

Through the years more than 130 who have come through the doors of St. Mary have gone on to vocations in the priesthood. Currently about 50 are in formation.

But it took time to build to this, LeJeune said. About 20 years ago St. Mary was not the thriving campus ministry it is today. Then fulltime staff was hired who were dynamic leaders, money was invested in the programs, and the ministry began to thrive – with the result of increased vocations to the priesthood and lay leaders going into the world “with a Catholic view and understanding of who they are as children of God,” LeJeune said. Continue Reading.

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