Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bless U. - Caring for Students' Souls--and Dorm Rooms

There's an old joke that would be funny if it weren't often true: How do Catholics evangelize? They sit by the phone and wait for it to ring.

I worked in campus ministry in two different colleges for over ten years. It was a great proving ground for any minister, because if you do not actively put yourself out where the students are, you may as well just sit by the phone and wait. So I loved the article below from the Washington Post on one of Catholic University's campus ministers.

We can take a tip from campus ministers like Father Bob and go where the people are, especially our youth and young adults, and pay attention to the things that are important for them. Whether it's school dorms, hallway lockers, coffee shops, or office cubicles, we can help people find God not just on Sunday but every day of their lives.

Bless U.
Caring for Students' Souls--and Dorm Rooms

by Susan Kinzie
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 1, 2006

Every September, Father Bob Schlageter makes the rounds, teasing, badgering, laughing and blessing his way through Catholic University's student housing. In almost every room he says a quick prayer with the students, sprinkles holy water and tapes up a paper crucifix and small yellow sign over the door that says: "Peace to all who enter here. This Room has been Blessed."

Most important: He gets in the door and lets them know he's there.

The beginning of freshman year is the time some student-life officials worry about most; about one in five freshmen at a four-year school doesn't make it to sophomore year. Some flunk out, but some just walk away, said Gwendolyn Dungy of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Studies suggest that giving new students a connection, a sense of home, is crucial.

"If you can't help to do that by October," Schlageter said, "you risk losing them."

Read the full article here.

Labels: ,