September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017

Center for Campus Ministry E-News: September 11, 2017

Happy Academic New Year!

Center for Ministry

Center for Campus Ministry E-News: September 11, 2017

What's News in the Center for Campus Ministry

From Our Chaplain

Words from Our Associate Chaplains

Center for Campus Ministry Open House

Community Partner and Volunteer Fair

Discerning My Place in the World

VISION: Global Community Building Program

From Our Chaplain

Father Lawrence Blake

 In this first of what will be a regular blog from the chaplains within the Center for Campus Ministry, I want to write and speak about the foundational principles that guide our mission. However, first let me say something about how I came to this position:

I am an ordained priest within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. I was ordained in 1999 following the granting of an indult (permission) from Pope St. John Paul II to serve as a married priest.  This permission is granted in extraordinary cases where an individual has served as a Christian pastor, is married, but becomes Catholic and wishes to serve as a priest.

Since my ordination I have served in two suburban parishes; St. Hubert in Chanhassen and St. Joseph in Waconia.  I also have served as hospital chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis.

In addition, I currently serve as a Chaplain in the Air Force Reserve and have been a commissioned officer for 12 years. 

I arrived at the University of St. Thomas in the fall of 2017 to begin my work as University Chaplain.

Now let me say a few things about the Center for Campus Ministry:

First of all, the Center for Campus Ministry celebrates the diversity of faith traditions represented in our University community by meeting the pastoral and spiritual needs of all.  The University of St. Thomas has a history deeply rooted in our Catholic Tradition and our center provides a robust ministry to our Catholic students.  This is evidenced by the number of opportunities we provide for worship and prayer weekly during the school year. 

At the same time we take seriously our mission;  to provide for the spiritual needs of all our students, staff and faculty.  We take our inspiration from St. John Paul II who wrote in Ex Corde Ecclesiae:  "A Catholic University is to promote the pastoral care of all members of the university community, ...

The university community of many Catholic institutions includes members of other Churches, ecclesial communities and religions, and also those who profess no religious belief. Non-Catholic members are required to respect the Catholic character of the University, while the University in turn respects their religious liberty." (par 28)

 It is this profound respect for others, and the desire to provide for the pastoral and spiritual needs of students, staff and faculty which is at the heart of our work. Please come and see us.  You are welcome!

 Clearly we can see that the University of St. Thomas is diligent in carrying out its mission.  For us, the staff in the Center for Campus Ministry, to be Catholic is truly to be inclusive in promoting the spiritual needs of all.

Words from Our Associate Chaplains

As Father Blake mentions in the first line of his article, the Center for Campus Ministry will have a blog this year. Each week, one of our associate chaplains or staff members will submit an article. These will be shared here and ultimately on our Center for Campus Ministry website. We will keep you updated as we make progress on a landing site for this blog.

New Beginnings

Medhat Yoakiem
By Rev. Medhat Yoakiem

Whether St. Paul is your hometown or you come from a faraway place, or you have just left the security of your family home and high school friends or a graduate program brought you here, your studies at St. Thomas mark a new beginning. When you have enriching classes, new friendships and exciting opportunities to look forward to, you will not hesitate to admit that you are joyful, hopeful or excited about your new journey. Few of you, however, will admit that at the same time you may also feel fearful or overwhelmed with the challenges your journey at St. Thomas presents - finding your way around a new city, making new friends, feeling homesick or balancing classes and a job or family.

 The conflicting feelings of joy and fear are normal and  are part of our growing process. However, how do you benefit from these feelings and use them as energy to move yourselves forward on a positive path on this journey? Are you only excited about the parties and other social opportunities this semester, or do you channel some of that excitement into your chosen field of study? Do you ignore your fears, or do you use healthy fear to keep you on the right track by being cautious and taking work seriously? Reflect on how you feel in this new beginning, own those feelings - positive or negative - and use them to teach and guide you.

 As we start a new academic year, let us wonder together how we can address our fears, insecurities, concerns and challenges as individuals and as a community.  Our fears and challenges get more difficult when we lack support and especially if we are far away from family, friends and cultures, so we are here to join you on your journey at St. Thomas to transform a band of strangers into a community of family and friends.

 You are not alone in the beginning of your exciting journey here, so I encourage you to seek out the many resources available at St. Thomas to help and support you, including the Center for Campus Ministry. Regardless of your faith tradition, my colleagues and I are dedicated to nurturing and supporting the pastoral and spiritual growth needs of our university's students, staff and faculty. We work to deepen our community's commitment to spiritual growth and social justice through a variety of prayer, service and educational opportunities.

We can't experience the joys and fears of this new beginning with you, but we can sit by your side, listen and guide you as you search for your life's purpose and achieve your goals.

May the spirit of hope and success follow you from now and forever.

Center for Campus Ministry Open House

Community Partner and Volunteer Fair


Put your faith into ACTION! Thursday, September 14th Community Partner and Volunteer Fair. The fair will run from 11:30-1:30 on 2nd Floor Dorsey Way in the Anderson Student Center. The Fair will consist of St Thomas' many community partners (both local and global).  Come and learn about  volunteer opportunities, internships, and classroom connections!

All students attending will be entered into random drawings for vintage St. Thomas T-shirts and other prizes!

Discerning My Place in the World

Fall Reflection Series

Tuesdays, September 19, 26, October 10 and 17 - MSL 242


Led by Prof. Susan Stabile     

An important part of higher education is discerning what will be our place in the world. Your graduate studies years are a particularly important part of the process of discerning what will be your place in your profession and in the world.  Discernment (as opposed to decision making) implies a reflective process of determining where you are being invited to put your energies, of determining what your authentic calling is.

Each session stands on its own, so that you may attend any or all of them.  Each will be held from 12:30-1:30 in room 242 at the School of Law. 
As lunch will be served, you will need to RSVP for each session by contacting the Office for Spirituality at by Wednesday of the week before each session.


Global Community Building Program

 J-Term and Spring break trips

About VISION: VISION provides global community building opportunities for St. Thomas students to encounter and work alongside diverse communities that are dedicated to creating a more just world. As we witness the strengths and beauty of our site's members, we come to a deeper, more humble understanding of our own place in the world. Teams are challenged to carry their learning and the six components of VISION into their future studies, careers and communities.

Where are we headed this J-Term?
Puerto Rico



Texas/Mexico border