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Featured Article: Reflections on Race in America Today - I grew up in the Deep South, at a time of even deeper segregation, a convenient term used to describe the complete separation of the races. It defined every aspect of our lives, where we lived, worked or went to school, and, especially, where we worshiped. (Martin Luther King, quipped, that Sunday morning church services were the most segregated hours.) For families venturing out for entertainment or recreation it meant figuring out what was opened to us, and staying away from those that were restricted. We were cautioned at an early age to not cross those boundaries. Read Full Story

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 NBCC Featured Article

Catholic Campus Ministry: Reaching the Mature Measure of the Fullness of Christ!
By Rev. John J. Raphael, SSJ
(Page 1 of 3)

 
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One of the most exciting areas of ministry in the Roman Catholic Church today is Campus Ministry. It is a work animated by the energy, enthusiasm, and idealism of young people on the threshold of carving out a destiny for themselves. Although often a period of exploration, experimentation, and even rebellion-especially in matters religious, college years are also a time when young people want to be challenged by ideals and principles that give meaning to their lives. Catholic Campus ministry provides this challenge.

Two years ago, when I first entered the field of Catholic Campus ministry at Howard University, I had no idea what I was getting into! I had recently left a beloved assignment in a wonderful parish and now I was a stranger in a foreign land. Howard University, one of the nations' premier historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), was a different territory for a priest accustomed to working in a vibrant Catholic parish in Southeast Texas. From the beginning I had to look for my congregation! "Where were the Catholic students?" I asked! I was told that they were on campus and all I had to do was find them. So that's what I set out to do. For five weeks all I did was post flyers in every nook and cranny of the campus announcing the return of the Newman Club. (Newman Club is the name traditionally given to Roman Catholic ministries on non-Catholic college campuses. It is the name of John Henry Cardinal Newman, an English convert to Catholicism who was very much dedicated to Catholic higher education.)

Finally the big day arrived. Thirteen students showed up to our first meeting. Well, I had one more than the Good Lord started with and that was good enough for me! We began to plan what our ministry would look like. To my great and pleasant surprise the students' first concern was Sunday Mass. They wanted to be able to go to Mass on campus. Not only did we schedule Sunday Mass, but we were able to have daily Mass as well as daily recitation of the Rosary and the opportunity for confession-yes college students do go to confession! There were seven students at our first Sunday Mass; we now average 40-45 on Sunday and we maxxed out on Easter of this year with sixty-five! In two years we have had two students received into full communion in the Church and two more confirmations. We are small, but alive! We scheduled a weekly meeting, and a number of committees were formed to plan the kinds of activities that would eventually shape our community. The students formed a choir-ours has a Caribbean flair due to the large number of West Indian students who love to sing! Liturgical ministers were trained, commissioned, and scheduled to assist at Mass. Retreats are planned by student committee. Our social activities directress is a very busy body as we are a very social group. Since we hardly do anything without eating, it's a good thing that the chaplain is from New Orleans and knows how to cook!

Catholic Campus Ministry (Continue)

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Become a Friend of the National Black Catholic Congress

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The Experience of God's Presence

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Appreciative Inquiry: Become a Positive Force for Change

Catholic Campus Ministry

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part I)

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part II)

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To Marry or Not To Marry - That is the question!

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By Rev. John J. Raphael, SSJ

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