February 19, 2018

February 19, 2018

Center for Ministry E-News: Feb 19, 2018

It is the Season of Lent in the Center for Ministry

Center for Ministry
UST Chapel Cross for Lent

Center for Ministry E-News: Feb 19, 2018

From Our Chaplain

Fr. Larry Blake

A Different Sort of Fast

Last Wednesday Christians around the world began the 40 days of Lent. Catholic Christians observe abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. They also fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday eating only one full meal during the day.  In fact each weekday during Lent except if a Solemnity is being observed is a day of penance which may include; fasting, prayer and acts of charity.

The prophet Isaiah reminds us that there is also a different sort of fast to be observed by God's people. He writes in chapter 58:6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 "Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"

The fasting that Isaiah proposed had very deep social implications.  It was not to be simply about me and my personal relationship with God, but about me and my relationship to others especially to those who seek justice, those who are hungry and poor.  Many opportunities are available for this sort of fasting through volunteer organizations.  The student chapter of Catholic Relief Services is one of these and there are others. 

As you work your way through Lent, observe the dietary regulations and consider how you might make a different sort of fast that has impact on the life of another.

Abstinence: So Why Aren't You Eating Pepperoni Pizza on Friday?

"You love pepperoni pizza. You eat it all the time. Suddenly, you can't have it on Fridays?! What could possibly be going on? It must be that Catholic thing, again. Absolutely! On Fridays during Lent, we particularly remember the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In memory of this great sacrifice, we continue the tradition of penance and sacrifice - abstaining from meat on Fridays is an outward manifestation of an interior reality: the conversion of our hearts. As Pope John Paul II has said, "In fact, the external aspects of fasting, though important, do not convey the full measure of the practice. Joined to the practice should be a sincere desire for inner purification, readiness to obey the divine will and thoughtful solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the very poor." Christ himself fasted and prayed in the desert. Through fasting and praying, we unite ourselves with the sacrifice of Christ and offer him reparation for our sins and failings. It's a little thing to give him in the face of his ultimate sacrifice, but what a grace that our God accepts and loves little gifts!" (usccb.org, "Six Ways to Evangelize During Lent")


Lent Opportunities

Each Friday [February 24, March 2, 9 and 16] during Lent, the Liturgical Ministers in the Chapel will lead the Stations of the Cross at 5:00pm. All are welcome to attend.

Reminders about Abstinence and Fasting

The following regulations should be observed by Catholics during Lent:

Abstinence - Catholics 14 years of age and older must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent. It is only on other Fridays of the year, outside of Lent, that a Catholic may substitute another form of penance instead of abstinence.

Fasting - Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 inclusive are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these days one full meal is allowed. Food may be taken at two other times during the day, in order to maintain strength according to each one's needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted. Liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed, however.

Sacrament of Penance - All the faithful who have reached the age of reason (second grade) are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year. Lent is a good time to fulfill this precept of the Church. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion without previously having been to sacramental confession (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1457). Of course, frequent confession, even of venial sins, is highly recommended to grow in God's grace (CCC, #1458).

Silent Retreat: Living In and With Christ

Deepen your experience of Christ by joining us for our annual silent retreat weekend. (Open to undergraduate and graduate students)

February 23-25
Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo, MN

Join us for our annual silent retreat weekend, a time to deepen your relationship with Christ and your commitment to laboring with Him to manifest God's Kingdom.
All undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. The weekend will include talks and ample time for silent reflection.
Whether you are new to silent retreats or not, we hope you will join us.

There are still a limited number of spaces available. To learn more or to register, please visit our website.

Have You Considered Joining Our Peer Ministry Team?

 Applications are now being accepted through the Student Leadership Selection process. The deadline is Thursday February 22.  See poster below for details.

 Information Sessions about Peer Ministry will be held on the following dates:

Wednesday February 14, 3-4pm, ASC 236

Tuesday February 20, 12-1pm, Center for Campus Ministry (ASC 207)


Come hear from the current Peer Ministers and ask any questions you may have about the position.




Highlights from the recent Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

On February 3-6, roughly 500 Catholics from around the nation convened for the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington DC. We sent our very own Tommies to represent, learn, pray, connect and advocate. Bridget Carey, Mary Ennis, Ruth Umanzor, and Emily Dalsky participated in the conference, networked with fellow advocates, and lobbied on Capitol Hill for current pressing issues including the Clean Dream Act, food nutrition programs, and affordable housing. They even were able to speak with Senator Amy Klobuchar herself as she dashed between sessions in Congress. The ladies thoroughly enjoyed their time in DC and are looking forward to sharing their experiences and knowledge with St. Thomas


Tommie Catholic Tuesday

Join us for "That Awkward Moment" as we explore how to overcome difficulties in conversation and experience real communion with one another!


Join us on Tuesday Feb. 20th, at 8:00pm in Woulfe Alumni Hall.





Interfaith Storytelling for a Vibrant Democracy

Engaging the Diverse, the Devout, and the "Nones"

Undergraduate Leadership Conference
February 23-24, 2018
University of St. Thomas

News headlines and social media posts show the U.S. a divided nation, and religion is one of the fault lines. The divisions surface between practitioners of different religious traditions, within religious traditions, and between the religious and non-religious. One  way to heal these rifts is equipping ourselves to tell our own stories and learn to listen to  the stories of others with clarity, charity, and hospitality. This conference will provide  training in, and a forum for, storytelling and story-listening across differences in core  commitments. Students from all perspectives and institutions are invited to attend and to  refine their skills in dialogue on their campuses and in their wider communities

Open to all undergraduates

Cost: $5 thanks to the generous donation of USG

For more information and to register visit: www.stthomas.edu/interfaithstorytelling

Sponsored by Augsburg University, Bethel University, and the University of St. Thomas with a generous grant from the Interfaith Youth Core

Opportunities to participate in Adoration

There will be Adoration at Sitzman Hall from 8AM - 5PM on Mondays and in the Koch Adoration Chapel from 6PM on Mondays to 4PM on Fridays. Adoration will begin as soon as all of the available Holy Hours have been filled. If anyone would like to sign up for a Holy Hour or is interested in learning more, they can contact Dale Lemmer at ustadoration@gmail.com.


Franciscan Mission Service's post-graduate service programs 

 Please see below for specific information about our international and U.S.-based opportunities.

 Overseas Lay Mission Program

In the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare, our Catholic lay missioners serve for two or more years in a variety of ministries in solidarity with economically poor and oppressed communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our mission sites this year include Bolivia, Guatemala, and Jamaica. Check out and share this video, "Emily's Mission," which offers more information about the FMS approach to mission, namely our focus on ministry of presence.

Helpful links for students:

DC Service Corps (DCSC)

 The DC Service Corps Program offers young-adult Catholics the opportunity to work directly with marginalized populations through organizations that meet specific community needs or to work at FMS headquarters providing critical support for overseas and domestic programs.  In the community, volunteers may assist with youth outreach, education, support for people experiencing homelessness, and refugee services.  At FMS headquarters, volunteers undertake projects in communications, lay mission formation, recruitment, communications, event planning, and development.  All DCSC volunteers participate in weekly professional/leadership development, monthly spiritual direction, and bi-annual retreats. This transformative experience is enriched by an intentional living community with fellow volunteers that includes sharing meals, prayer, and fellowship.

Helpful links for students:

 Join us on social media: follow our blog, check us out on Instagram, "like us" on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

 Want to speak with someone in our office?

If you have any specific questions about either of our programs, please feel free to email or call Rose Urankar, at 202-832-1762, ext. 8  rose@franciscanmissionservice.org.  As a current volunteer with our DC Service Corps, I can respond to any questions you may have about our programs. We will also host an informational webinar on Thursday, February 15 at 1pm EST to provide an overview of our programs.  Call-in information -- via Zoom -- is available via the RSVP link.

Visiting Women Religious Communities
Saturday, March 3, 2018

Visit different religious communities to meet, learn, share meals, and pray with Catholic Sisters.  We will visit local communities of Benedictine Sisters, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of St. Joseph and Visitation Sisters. Carpooling will be arrange. For more information or to register, contact 651-696-2873 or email junderdahl@csjstpaul.org.