Thursday, September 9, 2010

Success on Campus

It is always heartening to see campus ministries become dynamic messengers of the message of Christ to students who desperately need to know about it.

One campus that has seen a dramatic turn is St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at the University of Colorado. The article below was linked from New Advent and is a very encouraging. A snip:
At a campus where it's commonplace for avid ski bums to book classes around four-day trips to the mountain, an increasing number of Catholic students at the University of Colorado are scheduling their academics to make daily worship a priority.

"I remember going to daily Mass as a freshman and I think there were seven to 10 people," said Laura Eusterman, a 21-year-old English Literature major at CU.

"My roommate and I were the only students, or there would be one, two or three in the back. Now, I go to daily Mass and I see 30 of my closest friends are there -- 30 to 40 kids -- at Mass every day. They fall in love with the Mass so much that when the next semester comes around, they don`t sign up for noontime classes or 5 o'clock classes. They schedule their studies and duties around Mass so that Mass is the center of their day or the finish of their day."

One of the school year's first open-air Masses, hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish last Sunday, saw growth in attendance of at least 100 last year. It attracted 450 to 475 students to Farrand Field, an increase from last year`s 350, said the Rev. Kevin Augustyn.

"I would say this is the biggest Mass I've been to for St. Thomas Aquinas," Eusterman said. "For this just being an open-air Mass for the beginning of the year there were tons of people. I was surprised, the communion line seemed really long."

The number of registered Catholic ministry students at CU has more than doubled in four years, increasing from 250 to 550, Augustyn said. Of those, 250 students are actively involved in Catholic campus activities beyond Sunday Mass.
Continue Reading.
Then there is this final paragraph that got my attention:
Texas A&M University boasts one of the largest participating Catholic student ministries in the nation, where 5,000 students will attend Masses on any given Sunday. There are an estimated 7,000 Catholic students on CU`s campus. "We`re just getting warmed up," Augustyn said.
St. Thomas, patron of students, pray for campus ministries.

1 comment:

tour86rocker said...

I came to the blog hoping that you'd caught onto this very article!

Have you heard Fr. Augustyn speak? I have on CD his talk from a FOCUS conference and he is just great.

I remember one thing that really struck me: I think more priests should encourage people to READ about their faith, especially college students, who he really tries to encourage to get over the (irrational) fear that they won't understand spiritual reading and just shouldn't start. I know you're someone who recommends books now and then, too.

Fr. Augustyn recommends that students read what the Church advises about their future professions. e.g. architects, lawyers, etc...