It's that time of the year when we get to say, "Welcome Back!" By the end of the week, most of you will be moved back into the dorms, and getting ready for classes to start on Monday. We have some exciting activities planned for Welcome Week, but first there is a special day on the calendar this week I don't want you to miss.
Wednesday, Aug. 15
This is the Feast of the Assumption -- official name, "the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary." It is the day in which we celebrate the assumption of Mary, body and soul, into heaven and is a Holy Day of Obligation. If you are not familiar with that term, a "day of obligation" is when Catholics are obligated to attend Mass if at all possible (valid reasons for not attending would be illness, taking care of a sick person, or travelling in an area with no Catholic churches). Every Sunday is a day of obligation, but there are some very special days on the calendar -- like Christmas, for example -- that one is obliged to attend Mass even if it is not a Sunday. The Feast of the Assumption is one of those days.
For those who will be back in town this week, Masses at St. Mary's will be offered at 9:00am and 6:00pm this Wednesday. For those attending the 6:00pm Mass, we'd like for you to stay and enjoy a free pizza dinner with us in the Fellowship Hall afterwards. Please RSVP to this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan on joining us, so we'll know how much pizza to get. This is just an informal welcome back meal together, and I look forward to seeing many of you there!
Saturday, Aug. 18
Valley Ballyhoo is set for 4:30-7:00pm on the UC Lawn. Catholic Campus Ministry will have a table set up with information about our programs, free giveaways, and more! Please come by and say hi, and help us to welcome new students to campus.
Sunday, Aug. 19
We will celebrate our first Mass on campus of the new semester! Please join us in our chapel for Mass at 7:30pm. Come a half an hour early and pray the Rosary with us before Mass at 7. It's a great way to prepare for Mass, and to get to know other prayerful students. Stay after Mass for some fellowship and to reconnect with old friends.
Wednesday, Aug. 22
We welcome new students to the Catholic Student Center with an Open House from 5:30-6:30. Come meet our campus minister, our peer student leaders, and get to know what campus ministry has to offer. Then from 6:30-8:30 join us for our regular weekly home-cooked meal, followed by our weekly program featuring faith, prayer, and fellowship!
Friday, Aug. 24
Join us in Adoration of the Our Lord in the Eucharist in our chapel from 4:00-5:00pm. Then meet up in our parking lot at 6:00pm when we will take a road trip up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy a sunset picnic and hike to Waterrock Knob. What a great way to enjoy God's beauty in our mountains, and kick off the new semester in style!
All Week Long come by the Catholic Student Center any time during the Day to say hi and introduce yourself. We will also have available Parking Passes for our lot. At only $50 per semester, it's a great fundraiser for our ministry and a way to always ensure you have a place to park you car on campus (close to the campus center).
Help Spread the Word!
We want new students to know that there is a Catholic presence on campus, a place where Catholics can connect with other Catholics, and where students from all backgrounds can come and grow closer to God in Christ. This is why we set up at Valley Ballyhoo, and why we put fliers out in all the dorms. But our biggest tool for getting the word out is YOU! Most students who become involved in campus ministry do so because they were invited by a friend. So help us spread the word. Wear your campus ministry t-shirts around campus. Be ready to talk about your Catholic faith. If you find out a new student is Catholic, make sure to tell them about Mass on campus. Invite the person down the hall to join you for our fellowship meal on Wednesday nights. Be welcoming, and let God do the rest!
So enjoy this last week of summer break. I hope to see you all refreshed and ready to start the semester off right in the coming days!
WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374 | POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723