Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Weekly Update from CCM

Good morning, students!

I hope your week is off to a good start.  We have lots of opportunities for you at Catholic Campus Ministry this week.  Before we get to our schedule, here's a thought for today: When you pray, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner," you are not imploring God to do something He is not already inclined to do.  Rather, you are inviting Him to do what He has been longing to do.

Here's what's going on this week...

TUESDAY (Today)
  • Adoration in the chapel from noon till 12:30.
  • Community Table volunteer service from 3:30-6:00.  Meet at CCM by 3:15 for a ride over.  We have room for a couple more students as of this morning.  If you'd like to go please contact me so I'll know who to look for.  Email ccm@wucatholic.org or leave a message on our Facebook group.
St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students.
WEDNESDAY (Tomorrow)
  • Vespers (Evening Prayer) in the chapel at 6:00pm.  Wednesday is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, who, among other things, is patron saint of students.  Did you know that St. Mary's has a first class relic of St. Thomas?  To honor his feast day, Father Voitus will bring the relic to campus for veneration during our Evening Prayer service, which he will lead.  Don't miss this special opportunity!  (If you are unfamiliar with the practice of venerating relics, take a look at this article).
  • Supper @ the Center from 6:30-8:30.  Kristen and Jessica are putting together a delicious taco bar for us this week.  That's right - it's "Taco Tuesday - on a Wednesday!"  After dinner, Shawn and Joseph will give us an informative presentation about the role of music in the liturgy with examples of some of the different types of music from various times and places in the Church.  
THURSDAY
  • No Adoration this Thursday
  • Small Group meets at 5:30 on the 2nd floor of the UC to pray, read and discuss the coming Sunday scriptures.
  • Simply Stitched meets at 8:00pm at CCM.  Even if you don't knit or crochet, you are welcome to come and learn!  Guys and gals are welcome!
FRIDAY
  • Game Night at St. Mary's starting at 6:00pm.  A fun night of board games and other amusements.  The parish is providing drinks, popcorn and pizza, as well as several board games.  You are welcome to bring your own games to play.  Come spend a relaxing evening with parish families.  My family will be there!  (I suggest using our Facebook Group to arrange a carpool).

SUNDAY
  • Confessions/Rosary at 3:30pm.
  • Mass at 4:00pm.
  • Credo discussion after Mass.  This week we will talk about moral issues of life & death.  Is killing ever justified?  Why do we believe life is sacred?  What about mercy killing?  Self defense?  The death penalty?  Is there such a thing as "just war"?  Come with your questions, it is sure to be a good discussion.
NEXT MONDAY
  • Small Group meets at 6:30pm in the Balsam Lobby to pray, read and discuss the coming Sunday scriptures.  All are welcome!
ALSO NEXT WEEK
  • Cat Fair is coming up on Thursday, Feb. 5, in the UC Grand Room from 12:00 till 3:30.  We'll have a table set up, and could use some volunteers to help staff the table.  Contact me if you can spare any time to come represent CCM.  
And don't forget, you can always view a full calendar of events coming up on our web site at http://wcucatholic.org/calendar.html

Until next week!
Pax Christi,
Matt


--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gospel for Today: 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B)

"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Mk 1:17).  Jesus uses the metaphor of fishing to describe Andrew and Simon's new task of spreading the gospel.  Instead of catching fish, they would be "catching souls" for Christ.  For most of us, our only experience with fishing is sport fishing.  This sort of fishing is a hobby, something done on a weekend when we have no other obligations. It usually involves a cooler full of cold beverages, a lawn chair, and a lot of sitting and waiting.  Like fishing, evangelizing requires patience.  When you are working to spread the good news of Christ, you won't necessarily make a catch on your first, second, or even third cast.  You may have to wait quite a while before someone "takes the bait" as it were.  And as in fishing, it can be detrimental to get too excited and attempt to reel in a fish that is just nibbling at the bait.  You might scare the fish away.  

But evangelization cannot be just a hobby for us.  We must note that there is a sense of urgency about the evangelical work Christ charges the Apostles to undertake.  "This is the time of fulfillment," Jesus tells them, "the Kingdom of God is at hand."  St. Paul warns us in the second reading today that this world is passing away.  And truly, for any of us this hour could be our last to come to know Christ.  The urgency of the gospel comes through more in the metaphor when we consider what sort of fishing Andrew and Simon partook in.  They fished for a living.  This was no hobby; it was their profession.   

When your livelihood depends on catching fish, you have a different attitude about it.  It is not a relaxing endeavor, but hard labor.  Andrew and Simon fished with nets. These were large, heavy nets that had to be cast out into the water by hand.  They were weighted with stones so they would sink, trapping any fish in the water beneath them, and then pulled by hand back to the shore.  It was constant, hard, physical work that left one exhausted at the end of the day.  This is the work that Jesus told Andrew and Simon they would now be doing for men.  Successful fishermen cast broad nets, which meant you never knew just what you might bring in.  Evangelizing works best that way, too.  You have to cast a broad net, because you never know which soul is ripe to hear the good news of Christ.

When your life depends on catching fish, sometimes you have to think outside the box.  Very near campus, there is a spot on the Tuckaseegee where you can see a low line of stones forming a "V" shape that spans the entire river.  This is what remains of an ancient Cherokee fishing weir.  If the Cherokee did not catch fish, they didn't eat.  So they didn't mess around.  They built this V-shaped dam with a small opening at the tip of the V, across which they would string a net.  The fish were thus channeled through the narrow gap and into the net, where the fishermen would collect them.  Is there a lesson here for evangelizing?  The Cherokee figured out how to change the very environment of the river to catch more fish.  Sometimes to evangelize we need to also change our environment to create an atmosphere more conducive to the gospel.  

Think about this: as a Christian, is the environment of your life any different than the non-Christian?  Do you conduct yourself in the same manner?  Do you watch the same movies and TV shows?  Do you listen to the same music and read the same books?  Do you go to the same parties?  Do you spend your time the same way as the rest of the world?  If the answer to all of the above is "yes," then it is fair to ask what difference Christ has made in your life.  If the non-Christian cannot see any difference in you, then why should they be asked to change?

When you work as a "fisher of men," you yourself become the bait. You are the example people see of a Christian.  Are you a good example?  Are you someone people see and say, "I want what that person has?"  These are challenging questions; and indeed being an evangelist - being a Christian - is challenging work.  Many recoil at the idea of evangelization today.  We associate it with strangers knocking at our doors, interrupting our dinners.  We associate it with angry street preachers standing in the center of campus and yelling for us to repent or go to hell.  We are told that it is impolite to discuss religion.  But all of these negative examples show us a false way of evangelizing.  

In the gospel last week (Jn 1:35-42), when Andrew finds Jesus, it says, "he first found his own brother Simon and told him, 'we have found the Messiah'... then he brought him to Jesus."  That is evangelization.  Something wonderful happened to Andrew and the first thing he wanted to do was to share the news with those he cared about.  The word gospel means "good news," and there is nothing scary about sharing good news.  The question is, is the gospel good news for you?  Has it positively impacted your life?  If the answer is yes, then evangelization will come naturally.  If the answer is no, then perhaps we are putting the cart before the horse.  Perhaps we need evangelizing ourselves.

There are many who consider themselves Christians who still need evangelizing.  Perhaps you are one of these.  There are those who believe in Christ, and yet have not allowed Christ to change their lives.  This is a stumbling block; for how can we ask others to do what we have not done ourselves?  Christ tells Andrew and Simon, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."  There are two parts to that sentence, and we cannot do the latter if we have not done the former.  We need to follow after Christ.  The gospel tells us that Andrew and Simon "abandoned their nets and followed Him."  They left their old lives behind and were willing to do whatever Christ commanded of them.  They were willing to change.  

If that sounds radical, that's because it is.  But that is what we are being asked to do.  For most of us, that does not necessarily mean giving up your job, your family, your course of study, and devoting yourself entirely to life as a missionary, or as a monastic.  (Though for some it may).  For most of us it may mean a more minor change, but a change nonetheless.  Andrew and Simon were fishermen by trade, and Christ made them fishers of men.  Perhaps Christ is asking you to take what you are already doing (or studying for) and to do that for Him.  The world needs more biologists for Christ, police officers for Christ, lawyers for Christ, politicians for Christ, journalists for Christ, and so on.  

The point is to be willing to follow where Christs leads.  If you are able to do that, then you become not only a fisher of men, but the bait and the net as well.  Your whole life becomes a testimony to the gospel, the good news of Christ.  You will be like a shining beacon in a storm tossed sea, bringing light and refuge to all those around you.  As St. Catherine of Sienna aptly put it, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekly Update from CCM

Dear Students,

I hope your week is off to a great start and you all enjoyed your day off classes yesterday.  It was great to see so many of you this Sunday at Mass and afterwards for our Credo discussion.  We have many opportunities this week for you to engage your faith, but first we want to invite you to Give Your Heart Away!

GIVE YOUR HEART AWAY
This is the final week to register for our annual diocesan service weekend for college students.  Give Your Heart Away is a weekend of prayer, reflection, and Christian service to the community that brings together students from universities and colleges across the Diocese of Charlotte.  We will gather at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory, NC, to provide service for many programs and outreaches in the region. Past service sites have included a women's outreach center, nursing homes, advanced care facilities, upcycling centers, trail maintenance, and more.  The weekend also includes Mass, Adoration, opportunities for confession, prayer and fellowship.  The dates are Feb 13-15 and the registration fee of $50 covers your meals and lodgings for your time there.  We will have a carpool leaving from WCU after classes that Friday and we hope you'll be in it!  Registrations must be submitted by the end of this week.  You may do so online at http://www.catholiconcampus.com/gyha (those who have already registered online should remember to bring their registration fee to me in person - your registration is not final until the fee has been paid).  

Now for this week's CCM activities...

TUESDAY (Today)
Adoration in the chapel from noon till 12:30 - half an hour of silent prayer.  All are welcome to join us.

Community Table Volunteer Service from 3:30 till 6:00.  Those needing a ride to Community Table please meet at CCM by 3:15.  We can take 4 to 6 people.  As of this morning we have room for a couple more so please contact me if you'd like to join us.

WEDNESDAY
Vespers (Evening Prayer) in the chapel at 6:00pm.

Supper @ the Center at 6:30.  This week we are serving breakfast for dinner!  After dinner, we'll test your knowledge of the Catholic faith with Catholic jeopardy.  There will be plenty to eat, and plenty of laughs, so we hope you join us.

THURSDAY
Adoration in the chapel from noon till 12:30.

Small Group scripture study in the 2nd floor of the UC from 5:30-6:30.  Get a preview of this Sunday's scripture readings and discuss them with your peers.

Simply Stitched meets from 8:00-9:00 at CCM.  Anyone who knits, crochets, or wants to learn how is welcome to come (we have guys as well as gals).  Items made are donated to local charities.  

SUNDAY
Confession/Rosary at 3:30pm.
Mass at 4:00pm.
Credo after Mass until about 6:30.  Our discussion topic for Credo this week will be "Family & Social morality."  What are your moral duties towards your family?  How does this expand out to society as a whole?  We'll base our discussion around the 4th commandment to honor your father and mother and talk about what this means for us not only as individuals but for our society and culture in general. Come with questions!

NEXT MONDAY
Small Group scripture study from 5:30-6:30 in the Balsam Lobby area.  

Looking ahead...
SPRING RETREAT
Our Peer Ministry team has set the date for this year's Spring Retreat for March 27-28.  I know that seems a long ways off, but it will be here before you know it.  More information will follow, but go ahead and mark the date on your calendar.  

Finally, a reminder to all of you that the Catholic Student Center is open for your use.  Please take advantage of it!  We have comfy couches to nap on, quiet places to do your homework, free WiFi, great Catholic books to peruse, and of course a chapel for whenever you need a quiet place to pray.  I'm frequently there during the day, and you are welcome to come by my office to chat at any time.  My door is open.

Pax Christi,
Matt

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gospel For Today: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)

G. K. Chesterton once said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting.  Rather, it has been found difficult and not tried."  Someone else just as wise, I am sure, noted that a big part of being a Christian is just showing up.  Today's readings are all about "showing up," answering God's call, listening to His voice, and being willing to follow where He leads.  

I want to begin our reflection on today's readings by first looking at a different scene from the gospels.  Elsewhere (Mt 19:16-17), a rich man asks Jesus, "What good deed must I do to have eternal life?"  Jesus responds to him with another question.  "Why do you ask me about what is good?  One there is who is good."  Jesus is referring to God, the source of all goodness (Lk 18:19).  Jesus goes on to tell the rich man that he must first obey God's commandments, and finally sell everything he owns to enter the kingdom of heaven.  

We may read that gospel story and wonder why Jesus first gives the "smart-alecky" answer before He gives the "real" answer.  Obviously the real answer to the rich man's question is the one Jesus gives second - obey the commandments, sell your possessions, etc. - right?  Jesus was just trying to make a point about God being all-good with His first comment.

I suggest that if we read that passage in that way, we have it backwards.  Jesus was not a smart-alec.  He said exactly what He meant.  The rich man asked Jesus what good deed must I do to gain eternal life, and Jesus essentially tells him that there is no good he can do.  For there is only One who is good, and that is God.  All goodness comes from God, therefore if you or I want to do good, we must participate in God's goodness (hence the second part of Jesus' answer, to obey the commandments).  

There is an ancient heresy called Pelagianism, named after the fourth century British monk, Pelagius, who first espoused it.  His heresy was the denial of original sin.  Pelagius believed that the sin of Adam and Eve only set a bad example for the rest of humankind to follow.  We are not born into sin, according to the Pelagian view, and so it is theoretically possible (though very difficult) to live a sinless life.  Were this heresy true, it would mean that we could essentially "save ourselves" by living virtuously.  After all, if we never fall into sin, then we wouldn't need a Christ to save us.

Heroic saints such as St. Augustine argued vehemently against Pelagius, whose heresy was officially condemned by the Church.  But traces of it live on to this day among Christians who believe that the way to make it into heaven is simply to be good.  They are looking to themselves, rather than to Christ, as the source of their salvation.

What does any of this have to do with today's readings?  When we recognize that God is the source of all goodness, all truth, and all beauty, we can begin to understand that the work of our salvation can only be accomplished by God and not by our own hands.  Our job is to cooperate with God and allow Him to do His work in us.  Our job is to "show up."  

Please understand, what I speak of is not the Protestant heresy of sola fide ("faith alone"), which in many ways is the polar opposite error of Pelagianism.  The heresy of salvation by faith alone as espoused by Martin Luther teaches that our good works are irrelevant to our salvation.  If we have faith in Christ, it does not matter what we do or fail to do; Christ will save us regardless.  This idea runs counter to the scriptures, where we find, among other things, Christ judging us at the end of time according to our deeds of charity (Mt 25:31-46).

The good we do in this life matters.  In fact, you could go so far as to say that we were made to do good.  Just as the purpose of our minds is to know the truth, and the purpose of our hearts is to love the beautiful, the purpose of our will is to do the good.  But where do we find the source of all that is true, beautiful and good?  Only in God.  Therefore for our minds, hearts and wills to be properly aligned and capable of achieving their end, they must be oriented toward God.  

That brings us back to our theme of showing up.  When Goodness, Truth and Beauty call, step one is to answer.  So Samuel in today's first reading, (1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19), even though he "was not familiar with the Lord" yet, heard His call in the night and replied, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."  In today's gospel reading (Jn 1:35-42), John the Baptist points Jesus out to his followers and tells them, "Behold, the Lamb of God."  Andrew and John heed the call and seek to stay with Jesus.  Andrew then brings his brother Simon to Jesus.  The gospel tells us, "they stayed with Him."  They showed up.  

This is the beginning of learning to do good.  This is the beginning of faith.  This is the beginning of eternal life.  Be willing and ready to answer God's call.  Allow yourself to be drawn to His goodness as a moth is to the flame.  Desire, like the apostles in today's gospel, to be in His presence.  Allow God to transform you into His disciple.  Allow Him to transform you into a saint.

C. S. Lewis points out in The Great Divorce that ultimately one of two things will happen to us.  Either we say to God, "Thy will be done," and we allow Him to form us into saints fit for heaven; or He will say to us, "Thy will be done," and He allows us to have our own way, which leads to hell.  Only God's will is good, therefore our wills must be aligned to His in order for them to seek good.  Otherwise our will is for evil.

Therefore let us choose that first path.  God is calling you today and every day.  Let us be willing to answer that call, today and every day, with the psalmist, "Here am I, Lord; I come to do Your will." 

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Weekly Update from CCM

Dear Students,

Welcome back to the 'Whee!  I hope you all had a great break and are excited to be back on campus.  It was good to see so many of you at Mass on Sunday, and to meet some new students, as well.  We hope you find a second home at CCM.  We are here to be a community to help you grow in faith, hope and love during your time at Western.

Here is what we have going on this week and beyond...

TUESDAY (TODAY)
Community Table Service.  We will be offering service at Community Table, our local food ministry, this afternoon from 3:30 until 6:00pm.  Those interested should meet at CCM by 3:15 to ride over.  Rebecca Romo is our ride this afternoon.  If you wish to go, please send her a message so she can be looking for you.  You can text her at 919-349-4334 or message her on Facebook.

WEDNESDAY (TOMORROW)
Vespers at 6:00pm in the chapel.  Evening Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours.  This is the daily prayer of the Church, prayed by monks, nuns, clergy and lay people across the world.  If you've never done Evening Prayer before don't worry; we have hand outs and will help you follow along!

Supper @ the Center at 6:30pm.  Each Wednesday we offer a free home cooked meal.  This week Jackie and Bekka are cooking for us.  We have a sign up sheet in the kitchen for anyone who wants to take a turn cooking.  CCM provides the ingredients, and you provide the labor and love!  After we eat, Joseph will lead us in an evening of music and games.  It will be a fun, faith-filled way to start off the semester, so we hope to see you there.

THURSDAY
Adoration in the chapel from noon till 12:30.  Half an hour of silent prayer time before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

SUNDAY
Rosary/Confessions: 3:30pm
Mass: 4:00pm
Credo: 5:15pm Our discussion topic this week will be the first three commandments: what are our moral duties to God?  Come with questions!

Looking ahead...
SMALL GROUPS
Our scripture study small groups will kick off the new semester next week.  We have two groups meeting regularly, so choose the one that works best for your schedule.
  • MONDAYS at 6:30 in the Balsam Lobby area
  • THURSDAYS at 5:30 in the UC, second floor
Our small groups typically look at the scripture readings for the following Sunday Mass, so they are a great way to engage the Word of God and help to prepare for worship at Mass, as well as get to know other faithful college students.  They are open to all, so bring a friend!

GIVE YOUR HEART AWAY
Feb 13-15, at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory, NC.  This is our annual Diocesan Service weekend for college students.  Students from campuses across our diocese come together for a weekend of prayer, reflection, and Christian service to the community.  Work sites vary but include nursing homes, thrift stores, trail maintenance, women's resource centers, and other area services and ministries.  Cost is $50 and includes meals and lodging for the weekend.  You can find more information as well as register online at:
http://www.catholiconcampus.com/gyha

We hope to have a large group going from WCU.  The registration deadline is January 23, so don't wait to sign up!

WE NEED YOU!
I'm working on the schedule for altar servers, lectors, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion for our campus Masses this semester.  If you are interested in serving in any of these capacities, please let me know this week.  Also, as I mentioned before, we need student volunteers to help cook our Wednesday meals.  There is a sign up sheet in the kitchen - please feel free to team up with another student to cook.  Finally, we have an ongoing need to help keep our student center clean.  It is a communal space, so we all have a responsibility to keep it neat.  This means cleaning any dishes you use, sweeping the floor if you see it needs it, keeping the kitchen counters and tables wiped clean, raking leaves outside, and so forth.  If we all pitch in, it's not a lot of work for anyone.  Thanks!

PARKING
The last reminder this week is about our parking passes.  Selling parking passes is one of the major ways we raise money to be able to offer our programs.  They are $50 per semester.  We still have plenty left for the Spring, so help us spread the word!  If you need a place to park, come by CCM to pick up your sticker this week!


Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you all Wednesday night for supper.

Pax Christi,
Matt

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Gospel for Today: Baptism of the Lord

Welcome back, students!  I look forward to seeing you this afternoon at CCM.  We will have our first Mass of the new semester today at 4:00pm.  We will pray the rosary, and Father will be available for Confessions, a half an hour before Mass.  After Mass, our topic for our Credo discussion will be the role of the conscience in making moral decisions.  I hope to see you all there.  Please invite any new students you meet to join you!



THE FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD (B)

Today we celebrate the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in the River Jordan.  Today is also the final day of the Christmas season.  That fact may come as a surprise for many people who have long ago taken down their tree, packed away their stockings, and put away their manger scenes.  Christmas was last month!  We are in a new year now!  But the Church continues to celebrate the joy of Christmas long after Dec. 25.  The feast of Christ's Nativity only begins the celebration for us.  For the Church, the Christmas season includes not only Christmas Day itself but incorporates other important feasts including Epiphany and today's feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  

Why might this be?  Associating Epiphany with Christmas makes sense.  After all, the magi's visit is still part of the infancy narratives in the gospels.  It naturally flows from the story of Christ's birth.  But the Baptism of the Lord?  Christ's baptism by John the Baptist took place about thirty years after His birth.  Christ was a grown man at the time.  His baptism marked the beginning of His public ministry.  What does that have to do with Christmas?

In last week's reflection on the Epiphany we talked about the word manifestation.  In a way,the whole Christmas season is about Christ manifesting Himself to the world.  His manifestation was foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament.  The readings of the Advent season, especially from Isaiah, show glimpses of the coming of the Messiah who will save His people and bring us life and light.  Christ's manifestation in the flesh begins with the Annunciation, with Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will bear the Son of God, Jesus, God-with-us (Lk 1:31-35).

Already within His mother's womb, Christ had been made manifest to a few; to His mother, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and John the Baptist, who himself leaped in his mother's womb when the unborn Jesus was near him (Lk 1:44).  But with His birth on that first Christmas, Christ was made manifest on a larger scale.  Now God's presence among us was made known to the shepherds as the angels announced, "to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Lk 2:11).

In all these ways Christ was becoming more and more manifest to the world that He made, and which He came to redeem.  As I mentioned last week, the word epiphany means "manifestation," and so at Epiphany we celebrate Christ made manifest to the magi, wise sages from the east.  This is the start of Christ's manifestation to the gentiles, showing us that His mission of mercy, reconciliation and love is not only for Israel, but for the entire world.

And now the Christmas season ends with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord.  Today we see the beginning of Christ's public ministry, heralded by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the Father's own voice proclaiming, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased" (Mk 1:11).  Jesus Christ is proclaimed by the Father Himself to be the Son of God, Emanuel, God-with-us.  With this very public proclamation we find confirmation of everything that the angels and prophets have been saying about this Jesus.  Truly, He is the Son of God.

While this moment may conclude the manifestation of Christ liturgically in the Christmas season, it is only the beginning of the manifestation of Christ on earth.  Christ would continue to manifest Himself in His preaching, His miracles, and ultimately in His suffering, death and resurrection and final ascent into Heaven.  But His manifestation does not end with these events, either.  His manifestation continues on today in the Church.  The Church is the Body of Christ, and through the Church Jesus continues to be made present in the world.  

We see this especially in the sacraments, of which the Church is minister. Christ's glory as the Son of God was made manifest at His baptism and so too is He made manifest to us through our baptistms into His life, death, and resurrection.  Christ is made manifest to us in the Eucharist, when we receive His Body and Blood.  Christ is made manifest to us in the sacrament of Reconciliation wherein His forgiveness and mercy are made present.  He is made manifest to us in each of the Sacraments presented through the Church.

But Christ is also made manifest in the world in the individual members of the Church.  This means you and I, clergy and laity.  Each of us has the potential to make Christ manifest in the world.  Indeed, it is the sacred duty of all the baptized to make Christ manifest to others.  "Through Baptism the Christian is sacramentally assimilated to Jesus, who in His own baptism anticipates His death and resurrection.  The Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with Him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father's beloved son in the Son and walk in the newness of life" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 537).

This is the mission of the baptized Christian: to continue the manifestation of Christ in your life, to live in the Spirit, so that you can reflect the love of the Father to the world.  Let us keep this evangelical mission in mind as we begin a new semester, and throughout our lives.  And allow me to take this final opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Pax Christi,
Matt

--
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Welcome back from Catholic Campus Ministry

Dear Students,

We are looking forward to seeing you back in Cullowhee this coming weekend!  We hope you have had a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends and are coming back to campus refreshed and ready for a new semester.

We will be offering Mass on campus this Sunday at 4:00pm and hope to see you all there.  

A reminder, too, that parking stickers are available for our CCM parking lot for the spring semester.  $50 per semester, available at CCM.  

Here is a preview of next week's schedule.

SUNDAY
Rosary/Confesion at 3:30pm.
Mass at 4:00pm.
Credo at 5:15pm.  Our Credo discussion topic will be the role of the conscience.  If you have questions about the role of conscience in making moral decisions, please bring them!  It should be an interesting discussion.

TUESDAY
3:30-6:00pm.  Community Table volunteer service.  Help us serve a hot meal to those in need in our area.  Meet at CCM by 3:15 for a ride over.  We'll be back on campus around 6:00.  Space is limited, so please let us know if you plan on volunteering.

WEDNESDAY
6:00pm: Vespers (Evening Prayer) in the chapel.
6:30pm: Supper @ the Center.  A free, home-cooked meal served family style.  Come for fellowship, fun and faith.  We'll have a light program after to kick off the new semester and reconnect after our break.

THURSDAY
Adoration from noon-12:30 in the chapel.  Come spend 30 minutes in silent prayer with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

SMALL GROUPS
Our small group Bible studies will begin the second week of the semester.  Stay tuned for a posted schedule.  

UPCOMING EVENTS
Give Your Heart Away is a Christian service weekend put on by Catholic Campus Ministries of the Diocese of Charlotte.  The dates this year are Feb. 13-15, at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory, NC.  We'll be doing service work at various locations around Hickory as well as prayer and fellowship with students from colleges and universities across the Diocese.  Registration information will be posted soon.  Save the date!


We pray that you enjoy these last few days of vacation and have safe travels back to campus.  See you soon!

God bless,
Matt

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WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
  
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723