A Day in the Life of a Former Campus Priest at CUA,
I was the Pastor of a GREAT Parish is Kensington CT.. ST. Paul Church
Now I've received a warm welcome at St. Anne Church in Columbus GA
Saturday, August 02, 2008
The Summer begins to set...
A week from today we will be praying Night Prayer with the Student Ministers. The great adventure begins again. This is year 19 for me in as a campus minister. I really am a dinosaur verging on fossil in campus ministry years. They have been such rewarding years.
I am not the least pessimistic about tomorrow. I have seen who will be running the show and we will be fine. They are goofy and adolescent (their supposed to be we're not.) They are caring and insightful. They are connected and stay connected, email, text messaging and places like facebook help them hold on to life giving relationships even their circumstances call them to different cities or even different countries.
Here are a few of the goals I have received from our new group of Student Ministers... see why they inspire me.... see why I am filled with hope.
One Student Minister wrote : -I want to be able to handle failure, disappointment, and setback in mature, faith-filled, prayerful, and understanding ways -I want to increase my patience -I want to increase my humility -I want to find out more about myself -I want to find the ability to find a balance in a hectic schedule/life -I want to come out of this year with a higher sense of confidence in God's calling for me
Ministry Goals -I meet and get to know a little bit about each and every one of my residents -I want all of my residents to have positive encounters with me --I want to make deeper connections with everyone in The House, especially ones I don't know that well -I want to be able to model Jesus at all areas of my life whether I'm in the dorm or not, having the ministry as my main motivation -I want to view and treat my female residents solely as my sisters of God. Not for once do I want to entertain any ideas of any of them being more for me during this year of ministry -I want to treat the guys as true brothers -I want to come off as their peer and equal, never as an intimidating "holier than thou" figure, or condensending -Above all things, I want the ability to open the minds of my residents, if I can have all of them to open their mind to God just a little bit, I feel I succeeded -I want to especially reach the questioning, the lost, the non-believers -I want to take away the stigma that Campus Ministry and its events is a whole bunch of "holy" people club, I want to create "coolness" in the people who think they're too cool or not cool enough. -I want to take away the stigma that Southside is a whole bunch of "pagans" -I want to work closely together with my fellow mates combining our efforts in event planning, night prayer, and Sunday shuttles to mass -I want to help bridge some gap between the work area between RA's and RM's -I want to have a better know-how in when to deal with difficult situations (depression, suicide, recklessness, stubborn people, etc.) -I want to be the best my residence hall has ever seen along with the best House CUA has ever seen, by best I mean in our own unique and genuine way
Another wrote: During ministry I do plan on setting goals for myself and for my community. It is tough to put them into words, but I'll try! One goal is to be a witness to people on campus. Not everything thing that I do has to be in word form, so I hope that when people see me it might lead them to be happier. I don't want to have a stigma where it is "Oh, it's her, run!" I want people to feel happier after they leave me, I don't want to be anyone's chore. I want to grow deeper with God, with my community, and with my residents. I don't want the people in Spellman to just be "my residents," I want them to be my friends. I want to be able to be open for people to talk to, and have them feel comfortable around me. I want to become much more spiritual. I want to be able to be ready to pray whenever I feel happy, sad, unsure, etc. So much of my prayer life could be deepened, and I hope that my community will grow so much together in prayer. I want my community to hold me accountable for things, I want to be able to hold them accountable. I want to have a solid Renew group.
And another said: My personal goals for this upcoming year as a minister are to never think of myself as something more than my residents because I am the Resident Minister, in other words to not see myself as someone morally superior to people just like myself. You told me one year ago that if I set the bar low, the I will only accomplish as much, but if I set the bar high, then I can expect much more out of myself, and that is another personal goal I hold of myself this year. It is my ministerial goal to stay strong in my convictions without forcing my ministry down the throats of my residents. I want to lead by example and be as good of a person as I want everyone to be. These are the goals that I hold ambitions to reach after personal reflection, and I can imagine more will be added when training starts next week.
And another : I've been giving my goals a lot of thought and am still not sure of what it is I want to/ need to accomplish.
The few things I did come up with are as follows: -Making those in my living community feel welcome and encouraged. - Reach out to those in need and be available whenever needed. -Be a positive presence in the CUA community. -Grow in my personal faith as well as aiding in the spiritual growth of those around me. -Seeing obstacles as an opportunities for growth rather than as setbacks. -Planning my time better so as to make sure ministry and academics take priority.
There's lots more where that came from... so much hope.
Am I sad to see the summer come to an end... not really it's getting a little boring around here. I never mind when the school year ends but after a month or so miss my interaction with our students. As they say in the vernacular "Bring it" I'm ready.
As for me what are my goals... That's simple I want to be a holy priest (It's gotta happen some day... Tempus Fugit)