Welcome back to the 'Whee! (Or for your new students, welcome period). We at Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) are so glad you are here. It was a true pleasure to meet so many of you who stopped by our table at Valley Ballyhoo, or who came to Mass at St. Mary's or here on campus this past Sunday. Several of you have also come by the student center just to say hi and that has been great. I enjoy meeting and speaking with each of you.
For any student, new or old, who does want to come by the Catholic Student Center and is wondering about our hours, know that we are open from 10am-10pm during the week and I have an open door policy. While I don't have set "office hours" I am generally around the student center until 5pm, though I do occasionally have to attend a meeting or some other function, so if you want to make sure I am around please call or text me.
We have some wonderful opportunities coming up this week that I don't want you to miss. Here's what we have going on.
Tomorrow, we will host an Open House for new students starting at 5:30 in the afternoon. Come by, have some snacks, meet other new students, as well as some of our Peer Ministry leaders, and get to know what CCM is all about.
Then stay for our regular weekly fellowship meal at 6:30. Each Wednesday we offer a free, home-cooked meal, followed by a short program that may consist of prayer, faith, or fun, and often all three! This week, if the weather is as nice as it is today, we will likely be eating outside and enjoying the mountain air, so we hope you will join us.
(By the way, most weeks our meals are prepared by students; there is a sign-up sheet in the kitchen for each week and we'd love for you to volunteer!)
Last semester we started the tradition of offering Eucharistic Adoration from 4-5pm on Friday afternoons. We started it as a way of prayerfully celebrating Lent, but we never stopped. We'd like to keep the tradition alive during this semester, as well, so starting this week, please consider stopping by from 4-5 and joining us in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. You don't have to stay the whole hour, feel free to come and go as you are able.
This Friday we are also offering a SUNSET HIKE & PICNIC on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We are car pooling, leaving from the Catholic Student Center at 6pm and heading up to Waterrock Knob. We'll enjoy a picnic dinner (we'll provide the food), and then a nice hike up to the top of Waterrock knob to watch the sunset. It's our annual start of the year tradition that you don't want to miss.
Each student will receive a PB&J sandwich, bag of chips, little debbie dessert and a bottle of water. (If you are allergic to Peanut Butter or have any other dietary concern, just email me before the hike and we'll take care of you). All are invited!
A reminder that we offer Mass right here on campus each Sunday evening during the semester. Father Alex from St. Mary's drives up to celebrate Mass for us and hear Confessions. Mass is at 7:30pm. We also pray the Rosary at 7:00, if you would like to come early to join us. And we invite you to stay for fellowship after Mass.
OTHER DATES TO KEEP IN MIND
More information will follow about each of these events, but just to be aware for your calendar...
Sept 8: We are planning a day-trip to Asheville to explore the NC Arboretum, attend the Vigil Mass at the historic Basilica of St. Lawrence, and have dinner together afterward.
Sept 21-22: Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte. There is a special program Friday night for College students, and many wonderful speakers throughout the day on Saturday. There will be a group from WCU driving down for this and we'd love for you to come. For more info go to www.GoEucharist.com
Oct 5-7 (tentative): Our annual Beach Retreat! Don't want to miss this one! But space is limited, so plan early to attend. More info to come....
Nov 2-4: "Seek Him" is a Diocesan sponsored spiritual retreat for college students. It will be held in Black Mountain (near Asheville) and college students from across our Diocese will participate. It's a great way to meet Catholics from other schools, and grow in your faith. Again, space is limited, so mark your calendars. Registration information will be posted as soon as it is available.
Nope, this isn't Monopoly! We do charge $50 per semester to park at our student center parking lot. This is actually where a lot of our funding for putting on campus ministry events comes from, so a big thanks to those of you who have purchased parking stickers for the Fall Semester. We still have just a few left (we don't oversell) so if you would like one, please come by the Center soon.
Also, we do event parking fundraisers during all of our home football games. We rely on student volunteers to collect the parking money for about two hours before each game. We just posted a sign up sheet for all of our home games on the fridge in our kitchen (that's where families keep all their important papers, right?). So think about helping out and sign up when you come by.
I pray for the needs of college students here at WCU daily, but if you are in need of particular prayer, please let us know. When we gather for fellowship on Wednesday nights we always begin with intercessory prayer for one another.
In the entryway to our chapel you will find a cardboard box full of little "student edition" prayer books. These are free to you to have. They are filled with a wealth of information about the Catholic faith and many helpful prayers, including this one I will end with. When I read it I thought of all the students meeting new roommates for the first time, dealing with new professors, and all the other stresses of campus life. It is titled an Act of Charity.
O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all-good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.
May God's blessings be upon you as we begin this new semester!
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374 | POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723