February 23, 2018

February 23, 2018

Center for Campus Ministry E-News: Feb 26, 2018

Our Students Have Been Busy

Center for Ministry

Center for Campus Ministry E-News: Feb 26, 2018

From Our Chaplain

Fr. Patrick Tobin
Fr. Patrick Tobin, O.P.

Lenten Checkup

Now that we are a week and a half into Lent, it's a good time to briefly stop and have a spiritual checkup.  In Lent we are asked to engage in fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

What have you been fasting from this Lent?  I hope it's only one item, otherwise fasting turns into the familiar disappointment of unfulfilled New Year's resolutions.  And what has your fasting produced for you?  If it has made you grumpy and irritable, please stop fasting.  Fasting should be a penance for us and not for those around us!  Is it reducing your consumption of resources?  Fasting should create a surplus that can, in turn, be given to others. 

How have you improved your prayer life this Lent?  Did you dedicate added time for prayer?  Please tell me you didn't go straight to the holy hour as that will lead to the familiar disappointment of unfulfilled New Year's resolutions!  Maybe dedicate 15 minutes per day and three days per week.  Did you resolve to learn a new "language" of prayer?  Prayer, after all, is simply a conversation with God.  The many different schools and styles of prayer, therefore, function as different languages for one's conversation with God.  No language is superior to another so just dive in and pick one that sounds pretty/sexy/smart/holy!  And just like learning a language, it's not going to happen overnight so relax and enjoy the journey.

How have you been giving to others?  The practice of almsgiving is just as ancient as fasting and prayer and just as important!  Remember the surplus created by your fasting?  Don't forget to go the second mile and give it to others.  And we're not talking about large sums of money or large quantities of food and drink.  It can be as simple as noticing when someone is having a rough day and bringing them a hot beverage.  If you know a classmate's stomach usually growls during class you can bring them a snack.  The amount given isn't what's important.  What's important is that you were attentive to the needs of others and responded as generously as you were able. 

Lent isn't supposed to be a holy period of navel gazing!  If your Lenten practices are distancing you from others or causing you to be less aware of the world around you I would recommend a change in course.  Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving should turn our attention away from our own desires, difficulties, and drama and instead lead us to love of God and neighbor.

External Sacrifice

"This is a very popular penance during Lent, and the questions about it are just as popular. Heaven forbid you should avoid the cake at the birthday party! You LOVE cake! But it's Lent - a time for penance and sacrifice. Christ has said, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). Giving up something we enjoy strengthens our love for Christ and our resilience against temptation. As Pope Benedict XVI said in his Lenten address of 2009, "Through fasting and praying, we allow [Christ] to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God." It unites us with Christ's own sacrifices and gives us a deeper appreciation of the blessings in our lives." (usccb.org, "Six Ways to Evangelize During Lent")


Lent Opportunities

Volunteers are Needed

Preparations are already beginning for Holy Week and the Triduum. If you are interested in participating in any of these liturgies through reading, hospitality or another way, please contact Dr. Valentino Piran to find out what opportunities are available. Students, faculty and staff are all welcome to participate in these events. valentino.piran@stthomas.edu or 651-962-6563


During J-Term, the VISION program sent teams out for four mission trips.  In this edition and next week's we are excited to share with you summaries and photos from their trips.

Quail Springs:

On January 14th, 10 Tommies went off to Quail Springs - a permaculture farm near Los Padres National Forest in California.  For two weeks, they built community with the folks who call Quail Springs home, learned about natural building and food harvesting in the high desert, explored what ethical animal treatment looks like, learned about the principles of permaculture design, and hung out with some goats (and dogs, chickens, bunnies, and cats, too).  A few trip highlights included fitting 10 people in an 8-person tent, having a bread making contest on a rainy day, and helping with the daily farm chores.

This video shares some of the highlights.



The Bolivia VISION team went to Unidad Campesino Academica - a rural university in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia.  For 2 weeks, they spent time with university students and worked on various projects around the campus. They also had many opportunities for fun, from playing cards to seeing some beautiful waterfalls, learning traditional dances, and more.  In this video, each person shares what he or she enjoyed and learned on the trip.



Tommie Catholic Tuesday

Come join us this upcoming Tuesday February 27 to think about and discuss the topic of immigration in light of Church teaching and the human person.

‌ ‌‌

Tuesday Feb. 27th, at 8:00pm in Woulfe Alumni Hall.‌


Do you know about the Peer Ministers on campus? There are eight of us: Josh, Sam, Vince, Liam, Hailey, Emily, Emma and Hazel. Although we've been assigned to live in the four main residence halls on campus, we are here for all of you. Through the events and programs we create, and one-on-one meetings with students, we hope to get to know you and let you know of God's immense love. He has imparted His love to us and we want to share that with you, and hopefully you will be able to do so with others as well. Feel free to reach out to any of us! You can contact us through the Center for Campus Ministry Facebook page or look for us on Instagram [ust_peer_ministry]


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.


Catholic Rural Life

Catholic Rural Life is looking for a team of volunteers to help plan and implement a media and communication project for their national conference entitled A Noble Vocation: Integrating Faith Food and the Environment, being held at Woulfe Auditorium March 21-23, 2018. The project tasks include: Strategic planning, projection slide production and timing, setting up and operating video equipment, photography at the conference, interviews at the conference and social media publicity. Please contact Morgan Smith, Director of Communication, Catholic Rural Life: Morgan@CatholicRuralLife.org.