Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weekly Update from CCM

Greetings, students!  I hope all of you had a wonderful spring break.  We now enter into the last half of the semester.  If you haven't been to one of our events in a while, we encourage you to come on out.  Here is this week's schedule.

Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel from noon to 12:30.

Come to Supper @ the Center!  Alex Bogart and Brian Murray are grilling up some burgers and dogs for us (there will be veggie options, as well).  Time for a little pre-taste of spring!  We will have a special guest with us this week - a student from the University of Georgia who is both active in the Catholic Campus Ministry there and also very active in her sorority.  After dinner she will be giving a talk on "Being Greek and Staying Catholic."  It should be a great discussion, especially for any of you involved in a fraternity or sorority.  Please come out and join us!  Dinner is served at 6:30pm with the talk beginning around 7:30.

Also this Wednesday is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church.  As a solemnity, it is a feast day (and one of the few days in Lent when we sing the Gloria at Mass).  So if you've given up something for Lent, feel free to indulge a little this Wednesday in honor of St. Joseph.  (Learn more about him by clicking here).

I will be at a Vicariate meeting this Thursday and away from campus from approximately 11:30 until 2pm, so I will not be able to set up for Adoration, as usual.  If anything changes and we are able to offer Adoration, I'll post it on Facebook

Remember, all Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence.  So "No meat for you!"  But fish is ok to eat - and here is an interesting blog post as to why.

There is an Open House on campus this Saturday, with a student organization fair in the UC Grand Room from 1-3pm.  If you can help man an info table for CCM during those two hours, please let me know.

Our new Mass time is at 4:00pm on Sunday.  Please help us spread the word.  Come 30 minutes early for Confession or to pray the Rosary with us.  After Mass, our Credo discussion this week will be on the sacrament of Holy Orders.  Fr. Voitus has a great presentation prepared for us, which you don't want to miss.  

Participating in a small scripture study group is a great way to add a bit of extra prayer to your routine during Lent.  If you have not participated in one this semester, now is a great time to give it a go.   We have student-led small groups meeting Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm at the following locations.
MONDAY - 3rd floor UC
TUESDAY - Balsam lobby
THURSDAY - UC balcony

Our Spring Lake House Retreat is scheduled for March 28-30.  As of now, we are full, but if we have any cancellations I will post it on our Facebook group.  If you wish to be added to a wait list, please let me know.  For those who have registered, please bring your registration money ($20) to me by the end of this week to confirm your registration.  Thanks!

The annual Bishop's Lenten pilgrimage is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, at Belmont Abbey College.  To view a schedule of activities and registration information, click here.

I pray that each of you is having a holy and spirit-filled Lenten season, and that you are each striving to grow closer to God through whatever personal disciplines, devotions and sacrifices you are making to mark this penitential and holy season.

Remember that Lent is a time of penance.  We had a wonderful Credo discussion after Mass this past Sunday on the sacrament of Reconciliation, aka Confession.  Fr. Voitus made the comment that he recommends people take advantage of this sacrament at least once per month.  Remember that while it is necessary that we confess our mortal sins, it is a good practice to confess even our venial sins.  If you do not think you have anything to confess, it is helpful to think of the examples of people such as Mother Theresa, John Paul II, and our current Holy Father Pope Francis, each of whom confess weekly.  

If you are having trouble identifying your sins, it's a good bet it is not because you are completely sinless!  We all fall short of God's ideal of perfection for us, but God wants to help us grow in perfection, and has given us this sacrament to help us along that path.  We need to learn to identify our sins so that we can be aware of them, repent of them, confess them, and with God's grace avoid them in the future.  To that end, a good examination of conscience is a great tool.  Here are a few designed especially with college students in mind:

So once you have made a good examination of conscience and want to make a good confession, then what? How do you find Father?  Do you need to make an appointment?  You can if you choose to, but it is not necessary.  Father Voitus is here early for Mass every Sunday and has set aside the 30 minutes before Mass specifically to hear students' confessions.  He's also more than happy to hear confessions after Mass if there is not enough time before Mass.  Just ask!  He also has regular confession time scheduled at St. Mary's on Saturday afternoons from 6-7pm.  Remember, it is NEVER an inconvenience to a priest to be asked to hear a confession.  This is his vocation, to reconcile souls to God.  So be not afraid!

And if it has been a while, don't let that stop you.  Just let the priest know approximately how long it has been and if you don't remember exactly what you are supposed to do, he'll help walk you through it.  The priest, as God's ordained minister standing the person of Christ, is never going to condemn you for being away from the confessional for so long - instead he will rejoice like the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son, that "my son was lost and now is found!" (Lk 15:11-32).

May God bless you in this Lenten season!
Pax Christi,

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

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