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. Jesus said that we are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we love God, we will work for justice and peace among all people. If we pray, in the “Our Father”, for “thy Kingdom” to come, we must also act to make God’s Kingdom more present in the here and now.

Pope Francis is urging us all to humble ourselves and to reach out to our brothers and sisters who are hurting. St. Teresa of Avila reminds us that WE are the Body of Christ. Christ has no mouth to proclaim the truth of the dignity of each and every person. We must speak for Christ. He has no hands to reach out. We must reach out. Christ wants to share his love for the poor in and through us.

We live in a world of many sorrows and anxieties. Our economic and political systems often fail to support those in most need. Because of this, our University of St. Thomas Mission Statement challenges us to be “changemakers” – to be “morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.”

I invite us to explore together in Campus Ministry how we might honor this year of social justice. I invite us to work together to shine the light of Christ wherever we find darkness. I invite us to speak Truth to power with hope. I invite us to reach out in love.

May God bless us all during this 2013-2014 school year.

-Fr. Rutten