Student Parishes

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Matthew-John

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I am concerned about the status of the student parish next to the unvirsity where I am a student. By and large, it appears as though all the Liturgical rules are being followed (except for the lack of a Crucifix behind the alter). But, I am more concerned at the complete lack of competent student faith formation and the ill-health of the student community.
I do not mean physically, but that we gather weekly (and it is a large school, with a possible plurality of Catholics, ie several thousand Catholics) to be with Christ in Mass, and hardly know eachother (beyond the 40 or 50 who are involved with one of the 5 student teams).
There is little momentum to change this, to help us young adults learn what it means to live a life with Christ. Heck, the priest seems to waffle on Catholic-lite (while the visiting priest, a chaplian at a local Catholic high school directly challenges us to live a full life as Catholics).
Are there student parishes out there, that do live in full communion with the Church AND help the student parishoners to learn what it means to be an adult and a Catholic in a very hostile world?
 
I am an active member of the University of Washington’s Newman Center. We have very active members, four great peer ministers, a priest who loves the college atmosphere. Each Friday night, there is something going on at the Center, tonight a dance. Every Monday night, the chapel is open and we can come and adore Jesus and on Wedneasday, in addition to mass, the Rosary is also prayed. Each quarter, there are two or three major retreats to grow in faith. In other words, it is a healthy parish.

As advice to you, I would talk to the priest and challenge him to engage more in activities, get together with your fellow student Catholics and start a Bible study, or go to a retreat, or raise some money to have a guest speaker come to your parish. But whatever you do, do not give up. As with everything, pray, pray, pray! God does bless and will continue to bless your parish.
 
Nice answer Andrew, good to see that our Tenino upbringing is doing well in the faith World.

I am a student at Western Washington University, north of UW, and I attend the Shalom Center. You might have noticed that I didn’t say St. someone or Sacred heart or any of that, because it isn’t a Catholic newman center. We have an ecuminical center that the Catholics share with the Lutherns the Jews and the Christian Science and a few other groups. We don’t even have a full time priest, we share priests with two parishes that are in bellingham, kind of a priest tag team. The Catholics are the biggest group by far and we have an extremely active population.

Recently some of the things that we have done are Host a Christopher West confrence on the Theology of the Body, pray the rosary and hold signs at the abortion clinic every thursday since the first day of school, we have addoration every monday from 12 noon to midnight including a holy hour at 4:30, daily mass on thursdays, theology of the body bible study tuseday nights, catholic foundations on mondays, mens and womens spirituality goups that meet every wednesday, rosarys on campus, processions on campus, service learing trips to Mexico, ministrys to the homeless on monday tuseday and wednesday nights every week, and the list goes on.

The shocking part is that we only have 300 registered members 150 of which come to mass every week. Those people that we do have here every week though are solid in their faith, reverent to the Eucharist and practice what they preach. We are continuing to reach out to the other catholics and christians on Campus getting them aware that there are Catholics here and we mean business. Here is some links to some stories done by our Archdiocese newspaper on some of our students

seattlearch.org/FormationAndEducation/Progress/20040520_wwuMinistry.htm

seattlearch.org/FormationAndEducation/Progress/20040520_WWUStudents.htm

Just like Andrew said there is always work to do in the Church, God put you at that college so that you could make a positive change in the faith lives of the people there. Talk to the priest, talk to your campus minsiter get them to start getting people involved with eachother let them know that there is a Catholic family to be had at your college, and then work on developing that family. God bless and we will be praying for you!
Peace
 
Wow, its inspiring to hear that there are healthy student parishes out there. And only 300 members?!
I suppose a part of me wanted to hear that pretty much every where the idea of a student parish had flopped, because then I could move on. Well, I guess God isn’t about to give up on us college kids. (and to think the director of “student faith formation” thought he was done with me trying to get things going!) 😃
 
I really feel a resurgence in the youth right now. Our numbers will only grow 😃 👍
 
The youth of today has the advantages than those like me who were catechised poorly.
Today you have EWTN, the Internet, and a wonderful and blessed Pope who took the reigns of our Lord’s Church and put the emphasis on the future of the Youth.

Twenty-five years ago, I attended Bowling green State University (Ohio) and our Newman Center was very liberal…I did not realize this until a year or so later while I was there.
I do not know the status of the student parish today, but going by a reliable source (my pastor) things haven’t changed much. 😦

go with God!
Edwin
 
Ahhhhh…St. John’s STudent Parish in East Lansing. I knew it well. Went there all five of my years at MSU.

You’re lucky you’re getting a liturgical sound mass. That’s what I DIDN’T get when I was there. Once I took my now husband there with me after I’d graduated and he’d said “did Vatican III happen sometime and I didn’t see it?”

The liturgical abuse was bad, bad, bad there. Way bad. They used home baked levened bread, didn’t kneel for the consecration, changed the creed, allowed Women Church and Dignity to run rampant (and if you don’t know what these groups are…look 'em up). Sadly, at the time I didn’t know better. I was a little confused by some things but I’d figured at the time it was the church so it had to be okay, right? Wrong.

So - it sounds like someone cleaned house there at least liturgically. It needed to happen.

However - it also sounds like after they cleaned house they squashed student activities or enthusiasm. This can change. One good thing they used to do there was have a retreat every semester called “The Weekend (of Christian living)” that was run by young people and one of the priests. It was good in some ways, bad in some others (liturgically…). I think it could be done so that it’s completely in union with Rome on everything.

Do they still do retreats there? Becuase it seemed to me that a lot of other activities came from the core group who planned the retreats…other things seemed to grow from that. And that was good. The only thing is, you have to make sure that they stick with Rome, that the mass done is liturigically sound (ours wasn’t, we did an agape meal and they don’t allow that anymore).

Here’s what I always wanted to do…get groups to challenge the Friday Night Bible study freaks on campus as they tried to recruit people. Actually train teams to go stand outside of Wells Hall near the bridge and hand out “Pillar of Fire Pillar of Truth” tracts (the Catholic Answers tract available here at this web site) and debate apologetics. Talk about raising Catholic awareness. And schedule apologetics debates with those morons.

It was sad really, they went after me and my good friend who also went to St. John’s. She started to get roped in and one time asked to borrow my Bible. I let her borrow it. She came back and said, “hey! This has more books in it than theirs! Why is that?” When I explained that the prots took them out cuz they didn’t like them (they proved some Catholic doctrines) she did a 180 and went back to mass.

Anyway, I’m babbling. I want to hear more about St. John’s. Let’s talk and GO STATE.
–Ann
Member of the Spartan Band and Graduate in '89
 
As a Wolverine, I can quickly diagnose your problem…too much wearing of the green. If you’re looking for a quality liturgy, drive east to Ave Maria college in Ypsilanti. In fact, if you check out their endowment, you might find transferring there to be much cheaper than staying in E Lansing. Then you get the best of the best!
 
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Sparky:
Ahhhhh…St. John’s STudent Parish in East Lansing. I knew it well. Went there all five of my years at MSU.

You’re lucky you’re getting a liturgical sound mass. That’s what I DIDN’T get when I was there. Anyway, I’m babbling. I want to hear more about St. John’s. Let’s talk and GO STATE.
–Ann
Member of the Spartan Band and Graduate in '89
I’ll second everything Sparky said about St. John’s :bigyikes:

As soon as I found St. Thomas Aquinas in East Lansing, I outta St. John’s so fast it would make your head spin!

MSU '90

GO STATE!
 
loyola rambler:
As a Wolverine, … If you’re looking for a quality liturgy, drive east to Ave Maria college in Ypsilanti. In fact, if you check out their endowment, you might find transferring there to be much cheaper than staying in E Lansing. Then you get the best of the best!
Hmmm, A Wolverine. No wonder you can’t read the part about Sparky having graduated in '89

It’s that low quality education. Study hard and maybe you can get into a better University…like Eastern. :rolleyes:
 
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Brendan:
Hmmm, A Wolverine. No wonder you can’t read the part about Sparky having graduated in '89

It’s that low quality education. Study hard and maybe you can get into a better University…like Eastern. :rolleyes:
Ah, too bad you forgot I was responding to the first poster, who is a current student. But knowing the quality of the remedial reading courses back in the late 80s, you might have missed that little tidbit. But then, those of us with PhDs from Northwestern also read for content…and still know that Michigan beats MSU hands down any Saturday.

Hail to the Victors!
 
loyola rambler:
…and still know that Michigan beats MSU hands down any Saturday.

Hail to the Victors!
But not on Sundays… the Faith Formation Director at UofM is way off base on her theology (ND Grad might explain that, and a follower of Fr Raymond Brown might double-explain it)http://forums.catholic-questions.org/images/icons/icon9.gif

I pray both student bodies put their hands up, joined together, and become a future of the Church that will be orthodox… no excuses and no blaming the conditions around you.http://forums.catholic-questions.org/images/icons/icon14.gif

By the way, I’m a grad of a Jesuit school - Univ of Det. mebad

MrS
 
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MrS:
But not on Sundays… the Faith Formation Director at UofM is way off base on her theology (ND Grad might explain that, and a follower of Fr Raymond Brown might double-explain it)http://forums.catholic-questions.org/images/icons/icon9.gif

I pray both student bodies put their hands up, joined together, and become a future of the Church that will be orthodox… no excuses and no blaming the conditions around you.http://forums.catholic-questions.org/images/icons/icon14.gif

By the way, I’m a grad of a Jesuit school - Univ of Det. mebad

MrS
I’ll admit that I never went to mass on campus when I was a student. There was a cool church out in Livonia that we all went to every Saturday night.

But regardless, most of the student parishes at secular schools struggle with too many issues. Northeastern Illinois U went so far that they interpreted “separation of Church and State” as meaning they couldn’t even allow chaplains to have space on campus. When there’s a good Catholic college in the area, it’s better to go worship there than to deal with the messes the secular universities make for the local religious groups.
 
My husband and I are campus ministers at a small liberal arts college in Maryland. We get approximately 60% of those students who register with a religious preference as Catholic at Sunday Mass. Some of the students have schedules that do not allow them to attend Mass on Sunday evening or else they go home for the weekend. A part of our ministry includes catechesis on subjects that the students suggest that they want to learn more about. We also have time for fellowship, road trips to Catholic sites, and we bring in speakers on particular subjects of interest - one of the most popular speakers talked on the relations between Muslims and Catholics in the wake of 9/11. For those of you who remember the term Newman Clubs, the current terminology among those involved in this ministry is Catholic Campus Ministry.
👍
 
I also defected from the student “Catholic” center on the Michigan State Campus to go to St. Thomas Aquinas in EAst Lansing, which I still remember fondly. It was closer because I lived in Snyder-Phillips, this was late 60s. A student Catholic center or Newman center is not usually a parish, in that baptisms and marriages cannot be performed there and parish records are not kept. It is fine of the music etc. is aimed at the age group being served, and it is great if it gets young adults involved in church ministry, but when they are taught by those with an anti-Church, anti-Eucharist agenda it is time to protest. Parents, please find out what is going on especially at so-called Catholic colleges. The Catholic Student group at Texas A & M is renowned for orthodox teaching and liturgies, outreach and ministry formation of solid Catholics, and I would rather have my kid there than the Jesuit school we wasted 80 grand on.

Before criticizing your local campus Newman center, find out how much money, effort, personnel your diocese spends on young adult and campus ministry. Chances are it is very little, and the last thing on the priority list. You may find a priest has been assigned there in addition to 2 other full time jobs, and most of the personnel are poorly trained volunteers.
 
I recently moved to Ann Arbor (last Wednesday) and attended mass at the UofM student parish yesterday…there are definitely things I find appealing about the parish (excellent music), but I noticed a few disturbing things rather quickly. There was absolutely no kneeling at the appropriate times except for a few individuals, and nobody bowed before receiving the Eucharist (except for me, but I felt rather out of place). Also, during the Our Father, the hand holding was taken to the point where everybody joins hands across the pews, which effectively pulled me several seats away from where I was actually sitting. And apparently they use home-baked hosts, though I’m not sure if it was unleavened or not - I’m not sure how to tell. Regardless, I’m not sure what I think of the practice.

At this point I don’t want to try transferring to another parish, because I would really like to find Catholic companionship with fellow students on campus. Plus, daily mass is at a time when I will hopefully be able to attend several times throughout the week since I can just walk there from campus. For now I’ll stick with the student parish, but I have a feeling it’s going to be frustrating 😦

Peace
 
It’s perfectly licit to use baked bread as long as it’s unleavened. The no kneeling isn’t just at your parish…it seems to be widespread throughout the state. Bowing’s also not a local custom. Don’t blame it on that one priest…it’s the bishops throughout the state who took the parishes in this direction. As for the handholding…it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon in this state. The pastor at St. Mary’s Cathedral told me that he (and the late bishop) did not interpret any of the recent directions as prohibiting it. So either put out your hands and accept it or fold them quietly and get used to arms reaching across you to get to the next person.
 
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chemcatholic:
I recently moved to Ann Arbor (last Wednesday) and attended mass at the UofM student parish yesterday…Regardless, I’m not sure what I think of the practice.

At this point I don’t want to try transferring to another parish, because I would really like to find Catholic companionship with fellow students on campus. Plus, daily mass is at a time when I will hopefully be able to attend several times throughout the week since I can just walk there from campus. For now I’ll stick with the student parish, but I have a feeling it’s going to be frustrating 😦

Peace
On the weekends, come up to Holy Spirit in Hamburg… up 23 to exit 55, then one mile west to the Church.

Then at least you will have some orthodoxy to compare to. Pastor is good (convert from Luthern and Reformed Calv). And the Chaplain from Ave Maria School of Law, also says Mass at Holy Spirit on the weekends.

All your fellow students are welcome to come with you !!!

MrS
 
This is going to sound boneheaded, but since I went to St. John’s and I made friends there, I didn’t seek out St. Thomas Aquinas and I lived in Sny-Phi also. 😦 Now I wish I had. Ah well…I turned out okay. I’m just really glad someone knocked heads together at St. John’s. It really needed it.

As for UofM…all I can say is…I received a really good education at MSU…and our band was better (at least, when I was there it was) ;).
–Ann
 
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MrS:
On the weekends, come up to Holy Spirit in Hamburg… up 23 to exit 55, then one mile west to the Church.

Then at least you will have some orthodoxy to compare to. Pastor is good (convert from Luthern and Reformed Calv). And the Chaplain from Ave Maria School of Law, also says Mass at Holy Spirit on the weekends.

All your fellow students are welcome to come with you !!!

MrS
You’re completely right. The only “orthodox” Catholic college in the state is Ave Maria. All that money is going to make an impact one of these days…because it’s the bottom line in bringing the bishops around to something a lot less “progressive”.
 
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