Campus Ministry Makes Strides

An annual report published by CUA’s Campus Ministry office concludes that more students are active in retreats, service activities, liturgies, and other groups. The report shows that more students are active in and aware of Campus Ministry, and would like to see more of their peers participating in ministry events.

"While last year was a time of dreaming about what we would like to accomplish, this year we began to accomplish some of our dreams," the Rev. Robert Schlageter, O.F.M Conv., director of Campus Ministry, noted in the report.

Among the office’s new initiatives last year were the implementation of regularly scheduled Wednesday night confessions; liturgies held for individual classes and athletic teams; "Cross Trainers," a prayer group for athletes, and the "Women’s Discernment Group," which helps women consider a reigious vocation.

The office expanded its presence on campus and in the residence halls with changes such as expanded office hours Monday through Thursday. The retreat program also grew to include class retreats.

This year, the office will have a new campus minister, the Rev. Brad Heckathorne, O.F.M., Conv., who will be assigned to work with graduate students, Father Schlageter said.

The office’s report includes a survey of 345 Mass-attending CUA students. An impressive 85 percent of the surveyed students reported having participated in at least one Campus Ministry event, a 13 percent increase from the previous year. The majority reported that the most effective sources of information about the upcoming Campus Ministry events were word of mouth and posters and flyers. On average, most students knew about at least 16 of the Ministry’s 33 programs. Asked to rate the effectiveness of Campus Ministry, students gave the office and its programs an overall 8.4 out of 10.

Programs such as retreats, room blessings and Eucharistic adoration drew the most participation. While the numbers for the Habitat for Humanity retreat were down from the previous year, monthly participation for Habitat outings remained very strong. All students surveyed indicated an interest in becoming more involved with Campus Ministry activities in the future.

In regard to survey questions about their habits of worship, this cross-section of students responded that 91 percent attended Mass at least once a week. The survey noted a 17 percent increase of students attending Mass at least twice a week. Nearly all (98 percent) students felt that the practice of offering Confession in the residence halls should be continued in the future although many do not participate; this practice has not received nearly the response of the Room Blessing program which 76 percent of respondents took part in last year.

"Overall, the results indicated a very positive appraisal of the work and effectiveness of (Campus Ministry) by the students who are most actively involved in it," the report concluded. "Second, comparison with last year’s survey shows significant change and growth in the number and level of participation in CM programs."