November 26, 2018

November 26, 2018

Center for Campus Ministry: November 26

Our News for the Week

Center for Ministry

Center for Campus Ministry: November 26

From Our Associate Chaplain

Subscribe to Seasonal Reflections for Advent

Tommie Catholic

Apply to be a 2019-2020 Peer Minister

Christmas Stockings for Our Troops

Discover the Deeper Meaning of Advent

Faculty/Staff Advent Retreat

VIA's Operation Christmas Child - A Great Success

Wednesday Meditation

Night Light

News & Announcements from the Archdiocese & More

From Our Associate Chaplain

What Chanukah is and What Hannukah Isn't

You notice that the title of this article spells Chanukah in different ways. That is not accidental. Indeed for most Americans and for many American Jews the dual spelling of Hannukah represents the misconceptions about this festive 8 day celebration. 

In the Five Books of the Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy), there are five Holy Festivals enumerated--Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot and New Year(Rosh Hashana) and the Day of Atonement(Yom Kippur). Chanukah is not one of them!  Indeed the Jewish Festival cycle is primarily a Spring to Fall cycle underscoring the agrarian nature of Judaism's origins.  These five major festivals are the major Jewish holidays to this day.

So where does Hannukah come from? As a post-Torah holiday, it traces its origins to Maccabee rebellion around the year 165 BCE(before the Common Era). IT commentates the desire to eliminate Hellenization inside the Temple environs.  So what Hannukah represents first and foremost is a commemoration of the first attempts to overcome the ever-present tendency towards assimilation and loss of identity. The Book of Maccabees were not included in the Jewish biblical canon and so those aspects of the story were not prominent in Jewish understanding.  Instead the early story of Hannukah was that when the Maccabees prevailed and restored the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, a small amount of oil that should have lasted only one day lasted eight--thus the miracle of Hannukah.  There is no documentary proof of that moment and only a description of it in a later rabbinic text. However--that story took hold!!!

 For most Jewish kids growing up in America, the proximity of Hannukah and Christmas led to a sense that Christians celebrated Christmas and Jews celebrated Hannukah but all got presents. In truth, while Christmas is a major Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus, Hannukah is a minor Jewish holiday commemorating the ability of Jews to determine their own destiny and identity. The unfortunate confluence of the timing-however- means that for most non Jews there is the sense that Chanukah is the "Jewish Christmas". For eight days when we light candles - we are focused on the importance of religious freedom and maintaining a strong sense of control over our own religious lives.  As students at St. Thomas, I hope that for both the Jewish students and the much larger non-Jewish student body that we are able to celebrate the unique and festive times with greater understanding of the significance of these holidays and not attempt to create a syncretic sense that both have the same hold on the other.

Rabbi Morris Allen, Associate Chaplain

S‌easonal Reflections for Advent

Advent Candles

The Office for Spirituality will host reflections by members of the University community.  We will provide daily reflections during the Advent seasons.  Many members of our community have commented how valuable they find it to receive these reflections in their mailboxes. If you would like to subscribe to receive these daily reflections, visit the Office for Spirituality's Seasonal Reflection page.

Tommie Catholic presents: Breaking Open Scripture


Apply to be a 2019-2020 Peer Minister

Rooted in the Gospel's call to share the faith and go encounter others, Peer Ministers are committed to be a joyful, compassionate, and inviting presence on campus; serving all without distinction, and bringing the loving witness of Christ to everything they do.

As ministers among peers, Peer Ministers are first called to grow in their own relationship with God and then to be a presence of hope on campus by creating meaningful encounters that foster a supportive community and deepen the faith life of students.

Dates to know:

Application Deadline:  Friday December 14
The application will be live shortly.  Keep checking back at this website for the application link.

Peer Ministry Information Sessions in ASC 207:

        Tuesday November 20, 12:00-1:00pm

        Wednesday November 21, 3:30-4:30pm

        Tuesday December 11, 12:00-1:00pm

All Student Leadership Positions require a resume, cover letter, and an interview.  Take advantage of the opportunity to attend a workshop offered by the Career Development Center.  See the information below.


Christmas Stockings for Our Troops

Veterans Services is collecting items for care packages for currently deployed soldiers. Drop off any gifts in MHC - Lower Level 17 by end of day on December 1.

Here are some tips as you think about making a donation:

Recommended Gifts                                               Less Recommended Gifts

DVD's                                                                        Snacks, Gum, Popcorn
Wet Wipes                                                                 Razor Blades
Foot Powder                                                             Socks
Books/Magazines                                                      Old Candy
Deodorant/ Body Wash & Shampoo                           Home Baked Goods
Drink Powders (MiO, Gatorade, Propel)

Discover the Deeper Meaning of Advent



Faculty/Staff Advent Retreat

Wednesday, December 5

9:00 - 11:30am

Library Room 108


VIA's Operation Christmas Child - A Great Success

VIA held their November volunteer event - packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! Students filled boxes to the brim with essentials, toys, & notes carrying words of joy to be sent all over the world. Children receive these once in a lifetime gifts as well as the Good News of Jesus! 



Wednesday Meditations Continue


Night Light

Take a mid-week break with Jesus! Join us every Wednesday from 9-10 PM at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel for Eucharistic Adoration ending with Compline (Night Prayer). Depending on the Wednesday, the Adoration time will be in silence or with music. Come recharge by spending some time with God and your community.

News & Announcements
from the Archdiocese of Minneapolis & St. Paul

Archbishop's Discernment Retreat

Begins Friday, December 28, 6:30 p.m.; Concludes Sunday, December 30, 1 p.m.

Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo MN

The Director of Vocations offers this annual retreat with talks by Archbishop Bernard Hebda. In addition to the talks given by the Archbishop, there will be times of prayer, an opportunity for the Rite of Reconciliation, times of recreation, and plenty of great food. The Archbishop's Discernment Retreat is for men who are seniors in high school to age 50 and are discerning priesthood. This retreat is a wonderful opportunity to gain clarity in your discernment process and to meet other men who desire to follow Christ and to know his will for their lives. Register online by Dec. 14 at

TOTUS TUUS Team Missionaries - Is God calling YOU to help?

The Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis is in need of college age men and women committed to their Catholic faith who feel called to share it with the youth from local parishes around the Archdiocese.

  • The position is a temporary 2 month commitment (May 28 - July 27) which includes one week of training and one week break for the 4th of July

  • Each TOTUS TUUS team consists of four members: two men and two women

  • While serving the parishes; teams will stay in host family homes and all meals will be provided

  • Each team member will receive $2,520 for their work

Apply online at
For additional information, contact Nancy Schulte Palacheck 651-291-4489. Application deadline: Friday, February 8, 2019