Campus Ministry fosters student leaders

By Victoria Tarver
April 11, 2012

Cabrini’s Campus Ministry allows students to become closer with God.

Located on the third floor of Founder’s Hall, Campus Ministry was created for students to be able to work together to become involved with opportunities on campus and throughout the surrounding communities.

Campus Ministry offers many programs to the Cabrini community, most of them run by Cabrini students. Each year, students apply to become leaders in the ministry and go through an application and interview process.   They look for students that are serious about the position and show that they are passionate about the program and the mission of the ministry. The application consists of essay questions, reference letters and a resume. If the students are chosen, they go through a training process to become well-rounded leaders.

Cabrini’s peer ministers hold a great amount of the responsibility for planning and running programming for the department.

“We plan and lead the regular programming as well as act as leaders for retreats and immersion experiences,” Tim Rooney, peer minister, said. “We work very closely with the professional staff and have a central role in the direction of Campus Ministry’s programming.”

There are different jobs and responsibilities for each position offered.  Each student is in charge of planning ideas and events for their specific program. Part of the job responsibility is to take care of logistics, recruitment, advertisement and planning reflections and talks.

“As a part of training, there’s a leadership retreat that students are encouraged to take part in, along with the Headstrong Program,” Father Carl F. Janicki, director of Campus Ministry, said.

“Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and must have participated in the experience they want to lead,” Janicki said.  “Students should also be able to lead prayer and reflection as well as collaborate with their peers.”

“The only real difficulty about being a student leader is the balance between school-life and all of my activities,” Rooney said.  “Sometimes the workload of either makes the other more stressful but it’s all outweighed by the positives.”

Rooney said he loves being around people. He also enjoys everything he does in Campus Ministry and is thankful for the people he has met.

Most students want to become involved with the ministry because of a positive experience they had while participating in a program or retreat through the office.

“One of the things that has always drawn me to Campus Ministry programming is that sense of community,” Rooney said.  “We do a lot here to make people comfortable among our participants.”

Cathy Matta, peer minister, said her involvement began with Sunday Liturgy. Since Matta was already involved with her hometown ministry in Connecticut, she did not hesitate to join Cabrini’s Campus Ministry.

“I create and facilitate programming on campus that aim to help students with their questions of faith,” Matta said.  “We do not claim to be experts but are open to discussions of faith and spirituality.”

Matta said she defined a leader as someone that is supposed to be a student who is respected by his or her peers and feels comfortable leading a small or large group.

“Our leaders complete tasks ranging from creating and leading reflections, to giving personal testimonies or sharing personal experiences,” Matta said.  “All our leaders represent Campus Ministry and our mission to the college.”

Matta has had a positive experience being a Peer Minister. She feels empowered to do what she wants with the program and had an opportunity to bring some new programs to the ministry.

“My advice to those applying to be leaders is simple, if you don’t love it, don’t do it,” Matta said.  “The reason I think our program can and continues to grow is because of the passion of the individuals working for our mission.”

(Credit: Campus Ministry Facebook Page)

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Victoria Tarver

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