Food for the Journey: Campus Ministry Staff Reflections

Campus Ministry announces our Year of Social Justice for 2013-2014.  Every 2 weeks a member of our staff will offer a reflection on Social Justice.

Also check out our archive for our reflections on the Year of Faith.


An Oath of Service

By Kellen O’Grady, Coordinator of Liturgical Celebrations

On Monday, December 9, 2013, I had the distinct privilege of attending the Ordination of the Most Reverend Andrew Cozzens as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  Amidst the pomp and circumstance of the celebration, those gathered kept hearing again and again the purpose of a bishop: service.  During this Year of Social Justice I offer for your reflection the oaths taken by all bishops.  It is one of trust, fidelity, preservation, building, obedience, service, devotion, kindness, and compassion; these are things we are all called to live out in love of God and love of neighbor... Continue Reading


This Land is Your Land: A Pastoral Letter on Immigration 

By Molly Bird, Coordinator of Peer Ministry

“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” -Exodus 22:21

I did not think much about immigration until the winter of 2008/2009 when I had the opportunity to travel as a staff advisor on a VISION trip to the Texas and Mexico border.  The “Tex Mex” trip took a group of us to El Paso and Juarez, where we participated in a border immersion program surrounding social justices issues related to immigration.  We stayed with the community at Annunciation House (also known as A-House”) which offers shelter and food to refugees along the border.  It was during this experience I learned so much about immigration, met real people effected by what previously I’d only known as a political issue, and realized why social justice is important as a person of faith. Continue Reading 


The Faith That Does Justice

By Matthew Sweeney, Social Justice Intern

As part of our year of social justice, I thought I’d offer a reflection on justice as a virtue and, in particular on its relation to the virtue of faith. A virtue is a habitual disposition to the good and according to virtue theory there are seven foundational virtues; 4 cardinal (or hinge)—prudence, temperance, courage, and justice—and three theological—faith, hope, and charity. It is my understanding that there is an inherent unity to the virtues, such that one virtue cannot be fully understood or realized without all the others. Continue Reading


Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live

By Jacob Cunningham, Coordinator of VIA and VISION

I wanted to welcome you all back to the new semester and a beautiful fall.  As many of you know this year Campus Ministry is focusing on the Pillar of Social Justice.  As the Coordinator of the VISION program I work with a team of 12 student leaders who will be leading trips this coming January to India, Jamaica, Ecuador, California, Venezuela and Guatemala.  On these trips we will have the amazing opportunity to be hosted by groups working to make positive social change in their communities.  We will be given the opportunity to work beside them in response to Jesus’ gospel call of service.  VISION is one of Campus Ministry’s ways of living out this pillar of Social Justice. Continue Reading


Campus Ministry's Year of Social Justice

By Fr. Erich Rutten, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry

Over the past couple years, Campus Ministry has built our work upon the three pillars of faith, community, and social justice. These pillars are essential aspects of our Gospel calling to follow Christ.

Last year, we focused on the pillar of “Faith”. We studied the catechism and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. We began to ask questions about the implications of our faith for our everyday lives and for our world.

This year, we further explore the meaning of our faith and how faith in Christ calls us to work for social justice. Continue Reading


Archive from 2013 Year of Faith

Pentecost Sunday Reflection

By Christine Griffith, Coordinator of Weddings and Sacramental Preparation

This coming Sunday, Christians throughout the world will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.  Pentecost Sunday, considered one of the greatest feasts in the Christian liturgical calendar, comes fifty days after Easter Sunday and ten days after the Ascension of our Lord. The Day of Pentecost marked a turning point in the early Christian church.  Pentecost, a Jewish feast, was celebrated fifty days after Passover, and pilgrims had come to Jerusalem from all over the world to celebrate the event. Continue Reading.


Church Spotting: 4 Marks of the Church

By Fr Patrick Tobin, O.P., Associate Chaplain

How do you know when you’ve found THE church of Christ? Jesus the Christ, Second Person of the Triune Godhead and the anointed one of God, came to earth to redeem the human race and to gather to Himself the holy ones or first members of what we now call a church. Yet there are many groups of people that claim to be a church, even the church founded by Jesus. So how do we know if a church is actually THE church of Christ? Answer: the Creed! Continue Reading.


Living Mary's Fiat

By Kristin Gottron, Graduate Assistant in Campus Ministry

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” –Lk. 1:38

As far back as I can remember in my faith, I’ve always been amazed at Mary’s fiat—“let it be done”—her complete and total willingness to do the will of God, without counting the cost, without having to know every minute detail of God’s plan. She completely trusted in the Lord’s plan for her as given to her by His messenger. If I were in the same position, I am pretty sure I would have difficulty trusting so easily. I can picture myself asking for details, thinking through the possible costs of the decision, trying to decide whether it made sense. This is why I chose Mary for my Confirmation saint. I realized that I would need immense help in trusting the will of God throughout my life, and after considering her choice at the Annunciation, I knew (or, perhaps, she was the one who knew) that she was the one who could help me best with that. Continue Reading.


The 2nd Coming: Promise or Threat?

By Fr Patrick Tobin, O.P., Associate Chaplain

My 6th grade teacher had an odd sense of humor. When we cheerily waved goodbye at the end of a day and called to him “See you tomorrow!” he would often reply “Is that a promise or a threat?” All these years later, I still remember his response and I’ve often wondered what he really thought about us. Were we a reward or a punishment? If a reward, then we were sweet children that were a joy to be around. If a punishment, then we were awful hooligans that daily tormented him. Continue Reading.


Eastertime – rising to new life!

By Molly Bird, Coordinator of Peer Ministry  

We have now transitioned from the season of Lent, a time of repentance and conversion, into the Easter season.  Easter is the greatest feast of the liturgical year, and central to the Christian faith.  Easter is about rising to new life, new beginnings, salvation, and hope for humanity.  We bring back the Alleluia and Gloria as we celebrate the victory of Christ’s resurrection.  Thankfully Easter doesn’t only last one day!  It is a fifty day celebration leading us to Pentecost Sunday.  The Easter season can be a time of great joy, and graces in our lives. Continue Reading.


Give me Paramecium or give me death!

By Fr Patrick Tobin, O.P., Associate Chaplain

Said no one...ever! Not that I have anything against Paramecium. They are wonderful single celled organisms that I remember gazing upon in petri dishes of pond water from my childhood school days. Covered in little moveable hairs called cilia, they danced in and out of focus in the microscope eyepiece unaware of the giant eye that was observing them in their drop of pond water. But as much fun as it was to gaze upon them and to learn about single celled organisms (hey, it really is fun!), I would never be willing to die to save a Paramecium. I wouldn’t even inconvenience myself to save one from going down the drain. Yet I am more closely related to that Paramecium than I am related to the God who saves me. Continue Reading.


Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

By Aaron Brown, Director of Liturgy and Chapel Music

The election of Pope Francis is a first on many levels: the first pope from the Western Hemisphere, the first non-European pope in almost 1,300 years, the first Jesuit to ever be elected pope, and the first pope to take the name Francis. What other firsts will there be during his papacy, and how will he impact the Church and the world? Already Pope Francis has mentioned his great concern for the poor, and how he wishes for a Church that is both poor and for the poor. Continue Reading.


By Faith, Continue the Journey

By Kellen O'Grady, Coordinator of Liturgical Celebrations

Time is relentless.  It quietly moves, ever steady and ever changing.  Time is such a natural part of our lives that it fades into the background and we hardly notice it until it is gone.  We’re three weeks into Lent; in another three weeks we’ll find ourselves in the midst of Holy Week.  Six weeks may seem agonizingly long at the start but don’t blink or you might miss it.  Now is about the time for a mid-season reflection on how we’ve been doing on our Lenten pilgrimage toward Easter.  Perhaps we’ve indulged in what we gave up for Lent or have ignored a pillar or two of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; perhaps there have been great fruits already blossoming. Continue Reading.


Consubstantial and the Bridge to Heaven
By Fr Patrick Tobin, O.P., Associate Chaplain


Have you ever built a bridge? Probably not one that real cars have driven over, but most of us have built bridges during our childhood so that we could walk over streams or for our toy cars to cross over imaginary streams of flowing lava. While I’m not suggesting that this qualifies you to build a bridge over the Mississippi, our childhood experience is sufficient for us to grasp one of the fundamental concepts of a bridge: it takes us from a specific starting point to a specific destination. Continue Reading.
 


God wants to speak to you: Are you listening?

By Vanessa Walsh, Retreat & Communications Coordinator

We now find ourselves a week into Lent. How are you doing with your Lenten commitments?  During Lent I find it helpful to step back and examine my priorities in life.   I’ve been struck a lot lately by the noise that constantly surrounds us.  Walking across campus we are on our cell phones; at the gym we have our headphones in, sitting in our rooms we turn on music or the TV.  Where does silence play a part in our lives? How often do you find yourself in silence? Continue Reading.


The Creed: Testimony or Trivia?

By Fr. Patrick Tobin, OP, Associate Chaplain

If you had just 60 seconds to write something before you died, (like right now!) what would you write? Now it’s just 60 seconds so there isn’t a chance to write a long note. No time for long goodbyes. No time to right all the wrongs of your life or to say you’re sorry to all those whom you have wronged. No time to profess your undying love to someone. No time to share with the world the wisdom you have collected. Just 60 seconds. Go. No seriously, go! Continue Reading


Irish Blessings and Thin Places: It Matters

By Megan Smith, Office Manager

It is -10 degrees today and my thoughts naturally turn toward spring, which can only mean one thing: St. Patrick’s Day is approaching! I feel a sudden urge to find a flight to Ireland in order to fully celebrate my cultural heritage. My family is very proud of being Irish and I grew up going to the St. Patrick’s parades in downtown St. Paul dressed in green while eating soda bread. We even chose an Irish terrier as our family dog and named him Cork, after the county in southwestern Ireland that my ancestors are from. In the early 1990s, we took a family summer vacation to Ireland and I recall seeing a lot of scenery, a lot of cemeteries, and a lot of sheep. Continue Reading.


The Creed:  Are you in or out?

By Fr. Patrick Tobin, O.P., Associate Chaplain

Imagine the church as a dartboard, except there aren’t any markings on the board at all.  There’s no bull’s eye or inner ring or outer ring.  There aren’t any wedges to aim at.  There aren’t even any numbers around the outside for scoring.  Confused yet?  A dart can hit the board anywhere from the dead center to the outermost rim for the same amount of points.  Whether the dart hits the board at the 12 o’clock position, the 2 o’clock position, or the 8 o’clock position the same amount of points is given.  In fact, there is only one relevant criteria for the ecclesial dartboard:  did you hit it or miss it.  Did your dart land on the dartboard or off of the dartboard?  Are you in the church or out of the church? It is a binary question that permits only one of two possible answers.  There is no inbetween. Continue Reading.


Reflection for the Year of Faith: Advent
By Fr. Erich Rutten, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry

Native Minnesotans love to brag about how tough they are in withstanding any kind of cold.  We love to wear shorts in December!  We love to tell folks from other places that it sometimes gets down to 50 below.  Somehow we acclimate and get used to it.  But is this toughness?  Or numbness? Or what?? Continue Reading.


Return to “Skyfall”: Bond Comments on Culture

By Kellen O’Grady, Coordinator of Liturgical Celebrations

The brave new world of the twenty-first century wrestles on an ever-evolving basis with technology that puts information at our fingertips, tries to outsmart our enemies and our friends, and develops new frontiers just as dangerous as the world of fifteenth century explorers.  Continue Reading.