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Campus Ministry answers call for ‘Year of Faith’

Catherine Owers | Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI declared this liturgical year a “Year of Faith,” a time of faith renewal for Catholics worldwide. Building off this theme, the Office of Campus Ministry at Notre Dame has sponsored a number of projects and events to encourage students to reexamine and deepen their relationships with God.

Kate Barrett, assistant director of undergraduate ministry, said recent activities include the “Think you know Moreau?” scavenger hunt and “Retreat on the Run,” a program that will continue through February that helps students incorporate prayer into their busy lives. Barrett said the scavenger hunt was a success with almost 200 participants.

“We challenged participants to travel the campus as quickly as possible, finding clues and along the way learning more about Blessed Basil Moreau, … the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, as well as other remarkable Holy Cross priests such as Fr. Edward Sorin … and St. Andre Bessette,” she said.

Annus Fidei, a liturgical music series incorporating all the Basilica of the Sacred Heart choirs, began Feb.10. “Annus Fidei” means “Year of Faith” in Latin.

“[Annus Fidei] combined readings and songs to highlight some of the themes Pope Benedict outlined at the beginning of the Year,” Barrett said.

In the second half of the semester, Barrett said Campus Ministry will focus on programming to assist students in keeping their prayer lives active during the summer months away from campus.

“That will be called ‘Portable Prayer’ and will have very practical tips and suggestions for students,” she said.

Barrett said she believes the Year of Faith calls for both personal and communal renewal, and Campus Ministry is offering activities that will assist in both.

“A personal call will end up enlivening all of our communities of faith,” Barrett said. “When any of us feel renewed, recommitted, reenergized in our faith, and then we come together for Mass or to engage in service to the poor or to welcome the lonely, then the Church as a whole – and in each and every parish, or hall chapel – is renewed and re-energized.”

Barrett said the response to Campus Ministry’s Year of Faith activities has been positive.

“We’ve had good responses from residence halls who are following our themes when they plan events in the halls,” she said. “For example, back in November when our theme was ‘Sacred Places,’ several halls started Grotto walks in which groups of students walk over to the Grotto together to pray.”

Despite the successful programming across campus, Barrett said the Year of Faith is meant to focus on long-term faith development.

“However, our hope was always for the Year of Faith to be quietly durable rather than splashy,” Barrett said. “We hope that people take away from the Year good habits of faith that remain with them for a long time.”

Information about past and upcoming activities for the Year of Faith can be found at campusministry.nd.edu.