Jesus the Good Shepherd Church
Bulletin Letter for August 31, 2014
Dear Friends in Christ,
With regard to their religion, what is it that faithful Catholic parents are seeking with the enrollment of their son or daughter in a college or university? They want their student to continue practicing his or her faith, while in an environment that oftentimes works against it.
Being away from home and to some extent on his own, new influences have their effect on him. The young person has to motivate himself to truly lead a Catholic life, to want an education and earn his degree, but in a culture where wanting to fit in sometimes means turning an eye away from God and his Church.
A Georgetown University student recently spoke about his perspective on how to evangelize at college as a Catholic. He was speaking to the Cardinal Newman Society (www.cardinalnewmansociety.org), an organization that tracks the fidelity of Catholic colleges to their mission, and offers a yearly ranking of them as a guide to parents and students.
Louis Cona, the student, put together a list that he described as a Catholic student’s ways to evangelize a college campus. The first one on the list emphasizes that beauty is important. This is so “because it galvanizes the heart and mind in ways in which other forms of evangelization are incapable.” If the Mass is offered in way that captures its beauty, young people can be inspired and drawn to the Church.
A second way to evangelize is through the way you live – as “a witness through life and a community of friends.” The student may very well be living in an environment hostile to faith.
A way to strengthen your heart to evangelize is to look for the many connections to faith that will be found in the liberal arts fields. Belonging to a club or to the Knights of Columbus can sustain and develop faith. If it is a Catholic college that you attend, you can take courses on Catholic social teaching, philosophy and theology. In this way, you can take advantage of the spiritual and intellectual tools at your disposal, and learn better what the Church teaches and why.
Positive actions must be taken; you cannot merely turn aside from what is wrong. Louis says, “We can trust that the Church will not lead us astray, but rather illumines our lives and gives us certainty and direction amidst our relativistic culture”
Fr. David T. Richter