Campus Ministry hosts open house

By Kelsey Kastrava
September 24, 2009

The small yet inviting corridor on the third floor of Founder’s Hall was filled with a handful of prospective campus ministers on Sunday, Sept. 14 for Campus Ministry’s open house and the first liturgical ministry training.

Attendees were welcomed by Cabrini’s resident chaplain, Father Michael Bielecki, as well as the campus minister, Christa Angeloni.

Together, Bielecki and Angeloni organized a warm meeting where students interested in becoming one, or returning campus ministers, could gather to discuss what roles they wanted to serve during the Mass.

Even if students had no interest in becoming a part of the liturgy all students were welcome for an ice cream party and games, following the ministry training.

Campus Ministry is a way for the Cabrini community to get in touch with their faith and be a part of the liturgy. Angeloni believes that Campus Ministry should be available to anyone of any background, even if they are not interested in coming to mass.

“Fr. Michael, Sister Christine and I are available to everyone, even if it’s just a student who needs to interview a staff member for a class project,” Angeloni said. “The big thing about campus ministry is that whatever your faith tradition, we’re here to help you explore your beliefs.”

The meeting included a brief discussion on the meaning of ministry and what roles students may become involved in such as lectors, altar services, choir members, musicians or extraordinary Minister of the Eucharistic. Eventually, the group was divided into sections and a short training session was conducted.

“My first experience with campus ministry was at the matriculation ceremony where it was introduced to me,” Jenna Caroccia, freshman education major, said. “I attended the first mass of the semester and becoming a part of the liturgy was as easy as signing my name.”

Many students at Cabrini find that campus mass is a bit more interesting to attend.

“I’ve been going to mass a lot more than at home. It’s a nice feeling attending Mass with your friends,” Caroccia said. “I hope to find my faith by myself without it being forced upon me.”

Although many students, such as Caroccia, find mass appealing and take advantage of Cabrini’s on campus chapel, other students have yet to step foot inside.

“I usually only go to church for holidays with my family. I don’t know much about campus ministry other than where it’s located,” Deni Crowley, senior education major, said.

Bielecki believes college students, like all young adults, are going through a process where they are searching to discover and establish their own personal relationship with God.

Now, students can freely choose whether or not to attend Mass on Sunday and begin a new relationship with God.

“The difficulty many people have with a prayer life stems from life’s experiences. When people look at their limited experiences and all of the disappointments and struggles within relationships with parents, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, it is hard to have a relationship with a God we do not see. One needs to be convinced God is real and to begin to trust in Him,” Bielecki said.

Bielecki’s open and unbiased attitude in the church invites people from all walks of life to join in the liturgy here at Cabrini.

He believes that Campus Ministry’s role is to facilitate students’ relationship with God.

“Cabrini’s Sunday evening Liturgy is a place where all can grow in their love of God. We are not here to brainwash people into becoming Catholic, but rather to better learn how to be all-embracing,” Bielecki said.

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Kelsey Kastrava

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