This is a reprint of “Good News,” the weekly reflection written by Campus Ministry staff and students that is distributed at Sunday Masses in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

When you need a break, need to study, or need to take a nap … Common Ground is your home. When you want a place to spend time with friends, watch a movie, or cook … Common Ground is your home. When you want to read the newspaper and drink hot chocolate in front of a cozy fireplace … Common Ground is your home. When you want to play foosball or bumper pool, or swing in a hammock … Common Ground is your home. When you need to make a phone call, grab something to drink, or even go to the bathroom between classes … Common Ground is your home. And when the day is long and you just need to spend some time alone … Common Ground is your home.

Common Ground can be explained in so many ways, but in just a couple words: UST’s home. It’s a house located at 2154 Summit Avenue that’s open all day long for students, staff, and faculty to use. There is a furnished kitchen, dining room, large living room, porch, TV/Game room, prayer and meditation room and a great hammock in the front yard. One of the best parts of Common Ground is that it isn’t a club — it’s a community that each person at St. Thomas is a part of. Some people swing by to use the house once a month, and some are there every day. Everyone is welcome, and new faces soon become old friends.

Students on campus use it to be in a house, to have a kitchen to cook in, a fireplace to sit by on comfortable couches, a TV room to sprawl in. Commuters use it when they don’t have time to go home, to make lunch, study, relax in between classes, or even stop to use the phone. Everyone uses it as their own home because that’s exactly what it is.

Four of us live at Common Ground. We’re dedicated to building community among ourselves and with you. We help plan events and keep the house running. Every morning we have prayer (7:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday). It lasts about 15 minutes — you can start your day in the best way and still get to class on time. Come every day or any day you can. We also pray the Jubilee rosary every Thursday night at 10 p.m. — this is a rosary with special intentions for the social justice themes of the Jubilee Year. The first Sunday of the month at 5 p.m. is a Lutheran Service followed by a dinner, and once a month we host a candlelight Mass — all are welcome. Common Ground has tons of events throughout the year. Don’t miss our Coffee Houses — they bring in musical and comic talent from across the campus. Our first one is Friday, Oct. 22. Keep your eyes open for more activities coming up this semester.

Common Ground has opportunities for you — help us plan activities, or be a hospitality host and welcome others into the house throughout the day. Please give us a call, if you want to know more, at (651) 699-6801. Have a fantastic semester, and the next time you walk by 2154 Summit Ave., stop by and check it out!

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