To a Franciscan ’13’ is a good number. It is a number often associated with St. Anthony of Padua since his feast day falls on June 13. St. Anthony is celebrated as a teacher and preacher extraordinaire-even given the special approval and blessing of St. Francis to instruct his brother Franciscans. His words found a home in young novices inspiring in them a sense of wonder and awe concerning the mystery of Christ’s incarnation and moving them to true humility.
Therefore, it seems very appropriate in this our #13 How Do You Meet Franciscan Sisters post to count the goodness and blessing found in our relationships with young people in college or university settings and the caring Catholic adults serving them. As St. Anthony did in his day, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity do make a habit of hanging out in these places of learning. It is Franciscan to enjoy meeting such refreshing young people and forming friendships with those who tend their souls. Here are 13 Catholic Colleges or Newman Centers which hold special memory for us. This is far from an inclusive list. It is just a simple Franciscan sample-not meant to exclude anyone.
Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, Manitowoc, WI (Campus Chaplain, Father Hilary Brzezinski, OFM, Assumption BVM Province of Friars Minor, Campus Minister, Tommy Nelsen)
Right now, besides meeting students in the world of academia whether as professors or significant staff roles on campus, we are present for chapel liturgies and for Father Robert E. Barron’s Catholicism Series discussions in the Laker Lunch Box, sporting events, involved in choir, etc., etc. This is our sponsored institution. We also have young women in our TAU program on campus.
University of Wisconsin Green Bay Newman Center, Green Bay, WI (Campus Chaplain-Father Daniel Schuster, Campus Minister, Michael Poradek)
This is a great Sunday evening liturgy with students leading on key ministries. We are appreciative of the openness in sharing our Vocation Discernment Retreat opportunities and precious conversations before and after Mass.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Newman Center, Oshkosh, WI (Campus Minister-Father Jason Blahnik and assistant Holly Rutchik)
This is another Spirited Sunday liturgy and the students enjoy sheep (though probably also sleep!) Student leadership is enthusiastic and it is not unusual to plan that a car load of students come our way.
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Newman Center, Milwaukee, WI (Campus Chaplain-Father Luke Strand, Campus Ministers Dave and Dawn Kinsman)
We’ve witnessed a great, supportive community and are looking forward to joining in a Tuesday Mass and Supper soon.
University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Newman Center, Stevens Point, WI (Newman Pastor, Father Tom Lindners, Campus Minister Wendy Mitch)
By far the best in Wednesday Late Night Masses with outstanding participation by students! Peer ministers really serve with their whole hearts and are given the best of guidance.
Northern Michigan University Catholic Center, Marquette, MI (St. Michael Parish Pastor, Father Larry Van Damme, Campus Minister Catherine Hardenbergh)
One of our Sisters provides the soup on Wednesday night student suppers. A New Evangelization session follows with student witness talk, small group discussion and opening and closing praise music.
University of Wisconsin Whitewater Catholic Campus Ministry, Whitewater, WI (Campus Minister, Brian Zanin)
Here are students with a strong desire to help the homeless and not afraid to use hammers! Catholic faith means living the beatitudes!
University of Indiana St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, Purdue, IN (Pastor and Director of Campus Ministry, Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, OP)
Our Dominican brothers are generous in giving of themselves to serve the students; and the students desire truth with all their hearts.
University of Wisconsin Superior Newman Center, Superior, WI (Cathedral of Christ the King Pastor Father Andrew P. Ricci)
This Catholic Center for Students will always hold a special place in our hearts since we were communally invited for Mass and dinner by the students themselves after meeting them at Lifest in Oshkosh.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Newman Center, Eau Clare, WI
Another place of tender memory since we were also invited here by a student and her friends.
Oklahoma State University Newman Center, Oklahoma City, OK
A student request for our presence at her Newman Center led us to travel the distance when attending a conference in Texas.
St. Thomas University, Minneapolis, MN (Retreat and Communications Coordinator Office of Campus Ministry Vanessa Walsh)
Focus groups with young women arranged in conjunction with local leaders have helped us meet many more internet companions. St. Thomas University is one such memorable place.
University of Texas Catholic Center, Austin, TX (Father Ed Nowak, CSP)
Accepting our request for focus groups in this geographical location, we have made and maintained friends across the miles and have gained much from information gathered on media habits. We are grateful for this hotspot connection.
May St. Anthony, the teacher, intercede for us as we continue to pray and grow in our relationship with young people for the good of our Church. We also ask our dear (deer works too!) angels to continue to ride on the hood of our car!