by Elaine Jackson - 1964 officer of Saint Mary's
Everyone gets 24 hours in the day, and what we do each day with that 24 hours becomes our life. Some of us are pretty. Some are funny. Some are dull. Some of us are women and the rest are men. Some of us are smart. Some of us are rich, and others are poor. Some of us are short and then there are the tall ones among us. On and on, the list goes. St. Paul compared our differences to the parts of the body and how each contributes to the whole in the Kingdom of God. That is how it works for us along our journey of faith toward our eternal destination.
My husband Ron and I spent several hours of our time talking to Michael Molina about what is happening at St. Mary’s at SFA. We were especially happy to hear about the increased attendance at daily and Sunday Masses and at adoration. It was good to know that the FOCUS Missionaries are spreading the message on campus and that students are responding to the Campus Ministry through many Bible Studies and other activities being offered at St. Mary’s. We were delighted to hear about the seminarians coming from the SFA Catholic Student Center and the young women and men who continue to discern religious vocations. We talked about the students who have an opportunity to meet other Catholic students and to pray and socialize with each other during their college days. Surely, some of these activities will lead to the Sacrament of Matrimony and faith-filled Catholics who will spread the faith to their children and work for the Kingdom after they leave SFA. So much good is happening at SFA!
I couldn’t help but think how far the Catholic Campus Ministry has come since I was an undergraduate at SFA in 1964. At that time, a small group of Catholic students met each week with Fr. Vecchio from Sacred Heart Parish on campus in the Student Center. We were known as the Newman Club at that time. Dr. Myrtle Pope was our faculty advisor. We didn’t have a place or a building to call our own. I graduated before the original frame building that is still in use was purchased. It is quite amazing for me to visit the Catholic Center and see what has been accomplished since I was there. However, the spiritual opportunities impress me much more than the physical complex located so strategically on Wettermark Street amid other religious groups.
Now there is talk about new buildings in St. Mary’s future. This is exciting! When Michael asked me if I would be the first SFA alumna to write a piece for this newsletter, I wondered what I might say. Now I know what it is. St. Mary’s Catholic Center is worthy of the support of every Catholic who ever attended SFA. Whatever you can do to help the staff and students bring Christ to SFA is great. If we could help change the statistics of students going off to college and losing their faith to students coming to SFA and finding Christ in a deeper more profound way as they earn college degrees, that would be powerful. We must all support this Ministry with our prayers and our pocketbooks. However God has blessed you in your life, give accordingly. Stop by the Center and see what is happening or attend Mass there. What is happening at the Catholic Center is exciting evangelization worthy of our support.
The Catholic Center has always operated on a prayer and a shoestring with a lot of hope. We are at a place where Lumberjack alumni should provide for the daily needs of the Center and begin to raise funds to replace the aging buildings. Lumberjacks both old and young should give generously to this Ministry. When Michael approaches you, open your hearts and your checkbooks. If you want to support this Ministry without being asked, that would be greatly appreciated. The bottom line is that we have a jewel at SFA in St. Mary’s Catholic Center. Let’s keep it shining. Now is our time to help spread the Catholic faith at SFA!