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A farewell to our college bound…

Every summer, about this time, the Newman Center gears up for another year of ministry, new faces and new opportunities to connect students to their faith tradition of love and service. It is always an exciting time. As pastor, though, I am aware of another population that is preparing to move. That is our own St. Ann parishioners heading out to their respective colleges and campuses.

I write to offer you, those students, or their parents, just a word of encouragement and support in the year to come. College life is a great adventure, but also comes with its own unique challenges and struggles. Students who ‘do college well’ find ways to do three things: they
stay connected to significant support systems in their lives; they engage others in helping them make smart decisions for both the short and long run, and finally, they find a place to plug into – where their desire to make a difference in the world can bear fruit. To that end, every college has a variety of resources to help with all three of those goals. Fraternities, sororities, Newman Centers, clubs, student groups – all are places where those goals can be met.

Be a little proactive this year about those kinds of connections. I and my staff would be happy to do some of the research for you if you are heading off to a campus for the first time. Or if you don’t know what is available at the campus you are returning to, contact Kay or Fr. Bill at [email protected] or [email protected] respectively, and we’ll do a bit of research…

And for those who are staying in town, there is our beloved little Newman Center just a mile up the road with all kinds of opportunities to give of yourself and folks to meet to walk with you on that journey of life.

This year finds a new Campus Minister on staff – Erin Duffy. Erin received a BA in English from Washington University, and an MA in Education from Notre Dame while spending three years teaching in an inner city school before becoming a Catholic Campus Minister at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. After 4 years of that, she received a full ride scholarship to The Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley where she completed Masters degrees in Multicultural Ministry and Christian Spirituality. I am thrilled to welcome her to the staff at the CNC this year.

So, even if you don’t attend UMSL, but are in town or in that college/grad school age demographic, feel free to plug into our little Newman Center. First mass of the semester will be on Sunday August 19th at 11:00 am in the Provincial House Chapel. (the rest of the Sunday masses will be at the usual 8:30 pm time slot.)

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