Changes to Campus Ministry
Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, October 15, 2014
When’s the last time you called a friend from the University-issued telephone in your dorm room? When’s the last time you walked across campus jamming out on your Sony Walkman? Are you 0-for-2? When’s the last time you and your friends got together to watch the newest episode of Friends? Believe it or not, previous generations of Domers used to do all three and worse, they had to use three different devices to make it happen. The humanity!
If you answered never to all of my previous questions, this article is for you. Why? You recognize that Notre Dame is an evolving place that changes as its students change. The simple fact is that what worked for students in the 80s, 90s and 00s looks different than what current students expect and hope for today.
Since I began working in Campus Ministry this past August, I have witnessed some exceptional creativity that came about by embracing the change. Staff members and students alike have worked tirelessly to develop new programs and rebuild existing ones that help the Notre Dame family grow in faith. These programs include the new Anchor Leadership Program, for students who hope to better serve campus and their parish communities, and the expansion of Theology on Tap and Alpha, for students who just want to learn more about their faith in general.
While I am proud of the work that has been accomplished so far, there is more work to be done. My hope for Campus Ministry is that we can meet the needs of students today. My dream for Campus Ministry is that we might be partners with students to consider new possibilities and explore them together.
To make that dream a reality, I have asked members of the Campus Ministry undergraduate and graduate staff to engage in a new Spirituality Study, which will take place during the upcoming spring semester, to explore the emerging spiritual needs of students. This initiative will allow us to both evaluate our current programs and consider new opportunities to help students in their faith journey. We are embracing the change!
It is unclear at this point what the results of our Spirituality Study will bring about. We could very well add new programs and subtract others – it all depends on your input. Any significant changes will be announced near the end of the current academic year and implemented in the 2015-2016 academic year.
Along with the study, we will make some immediate changes to our retreats program. Specifically, we have decided to cancel the two Freshman Retreats next spring semester, because of the amount of time and preparation they require, to better explore other opportunities. Don’t be too bummed, members of the first-year class. We still have great opportunities for you for in the spring. Think about joining the Compass Formation program, sign up for a spring break pilgrimage, swing over to CoMo for Eucharistic Adoration and/or join a Cross Examination group. Campus Ministry will not leave you all by yourself in the cold during the spring semester – literally, just come inside. Freshmen who were waiting to register for one of the spring retreats can still register for the fall Freshman Retreat taking place Oct. 31 – Nov. 1. (Register at CampusMinistry.nd.edu/Retreats).
We need your feedback. To schedule a one-on-one appointment or to be a part of one of our focus groups, please email [email protected]. Times change. Be part of today’s Campus Ministry.
Fr. Pete McCormick
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.