Pastor’s Column: Good news from St Mary’s College of Maryland!
This past Sunday was the first 7:30pm Sunday Mass at the college, and we had the largest turnout of kids that I’ve seen in my almost 12 years as Chaplain to the Catholic Community (nicknamed “The Catholic Seahawks.”) A lot of freshman and returning students came out for the Mass. We also had a good number of students singing in the choir and playing instruments. It was good to see the church feel so young!
Our new campus minister, William Bolin, spent a lot of time preparing and reaching out to returning students over the past month in preparation for their return. This week they had Bible Study, a catechetical night, and Eucharistic Adoration on campus! We have already had two students who attended the Mass express an interest in becoming Catholic.
After the Mass, we planned a pizza social and reception in one of the lounges, which most of the students stayed for. The returning students were shocked to see such a large turnout, and the freshman were happy to see so many others on campus also take their faith seriously. Of course, this was just the first of many Masses, and many of the students live in state, meaning they can easily go home on weekends. Yet, at least they know the many opportunities to receive the sacraments and receive formation through our ministry. Our ultimate goal doesn’t just lie in mass attendance or pizzas eaten; rather, the ultimate goal remains to lead the students to a relationship with Christ!
This year, we will see your Archdiocesan Appeal dollars at work in a particular way, for it is the appeal which funds William Bolin’s full-time position as Campus Minister! As a priest with five ministries, I cannot do nearly the work that is required, but William can be there most of the week planting and watering the seeds of faith. Please pray for the students at St Mary’s College and CSM; please pray for William and the good work he is doing; finally, please pray for me as I seek to minister to these young disciples of the Lord, meeting them where they are at– but not leaving them there.
Your Brother and Father in Christ,