Monday, June 1, 2009

Calling All Parishioners & Alumni

I find it hard to believe that the academic year is finished. It feels like only yesterday we were hosting open house BBQ’s for the newly received freshmen, dorm storming, celebrating Mass on Norlin Quad, attending the Great Debate and so many other activities that this ministry has been blessed with. I’m always humbled by the zeal of the St. Thomas staff who are constantly willing to go the extra mile if only to reach one soul. Given that, I can confidently say that the success of this year would never have happened if it were not for the parish community of St. Thomas. I cannot thank you enough for the time you have put into this campus ministry for the sake of Christ, the treasure you have poured into this ministry because of your belief in the mission, and the talent you have offered so as to take this ministry to the next level! Be assured that your labor was never in vain, and because of you we have seen incredible growth in our ministry just in this year: bible studies have nearly doubled, student daily Mass attendance has nearly tripled, Buffalo Awakening retreats are reaching record breaking numbers in retreaters, the number of attendees to the annual debate tripled, and the student center is continuously bustling. These examples are simply the first things that come to mind. We have been blessed and I thank all of you for what you have accomplished!

While it is wonderful to pause and celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit, we must move forward with renewed ardor, open hearts, and creativity as we begin planning for another year of campus ministry. If this ministry were not critically important we could embrace the transition between one academic year and another a little longer. The fact of the matter is that campus ministry is a most important dimension of ministry if the purpose is to transform a culture through the light of Jesus Christ. The ideologies presented in the university classrooms today will inevitably become the practical wisdom of our culture tomorrow. If we want to transform the world then we must be willing to pour our resources into campus ministry as the majority of our future leaders, CEO’s, policy makers, priests, fathers, and mothers will come from universities such as CU.

One thing I have observed around the student center is that the students are asked to volunteer for many things throughout the year. So much so that many of these students can sometimes have hesitations in visiting the center in fear that they may be “solicited” to do yet another thing. I would love to diffuse this tension that is often felt by opening up new areas of volunteer service for the parish community of St. Thomas. This would free the students to do what they do best; building peer friendships in hope for an opportunity to present the Gospel to them. Between the wonderful parishioner and alumni support from last year and the new requests to volunteer coming in as I write this, I would love it if we could get 100 parishioners and alumni to sign up for next year’s volunteer needs. This is a tall order but I am confident that this parish community is convinced of the importance of campus ministry, especially this one.

The majority of volunteer needs will be in the form of socials whether that is hosting a few BBQ’s throughout the year, baking cookies for the fall dorm storm, or helping host a weekly social throughout the year. These activities alone would free our students up tremendously so that they may be more effective in their own evangelization efforts. Together we can take this great ministry to the next level and transform the culture by the light of Jesus Christ.

Let the sign up for the 100 volunteers begin! All you have to do is set this column down for a moment and either email or phone Matt Boettger and give him your contact information (i.e. name, number, email address), and let me know you are interested in volunteering for the 2009-2010 year of CU ministry! May God be Praised!

Matt Boettger, Director of Outreach & Evangelization 720.564.1111 ext. 265

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