Do You Make a Difference?: CUA Students Embrace Service in Many Forms
Fr. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv., University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry
January 28, 2012
Filed under Quill
Do you ever wonder if you make a significant difference in people’s lives? In their 1985 pastoral letter, Empowered by the Spirit, the U.S. Catholic Bishops instructed campus ministers to “Educate for Justice” on college campuses. This year, CUA Campus Ministry (CM) and our faith-based student organizations are promoting the Church’s social justice teaching by offering programs like “Suppers and Social Justice”, Hunger and Homelessness Week, CUA on Tap and the March for Life. During our University’s 125th year, so many of you have served the spiritual and material needs of others through weekly community service projects, mission trips and special events like 9/11 Service Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Day, and Halloween on Campus. CM, Student Life and academic departments may have set up these service opportunities, but it is you – the CUA students, empowered by the Spirit – who have made all the difference in people’s lives.
Our faith-based student leaders and organizations work closely with SFAB to secure financial resources for particular programs that promote our Church’s commitment to some aspect of social justice and the Catholic mission of the University. These programs are an example of students educating others about the local, national and international needs of the poor, the homeless, the infant in the womb, women, death row inmates, the elderly, the sexually exploited, African war refugees, immigrants and sustainability concerns. These programs have caused some of you to contemplate careers working for systemic change and all of us to see our connection to every other human being and the creation that we have inherited.
You have embraced the Gospel of Life affirming the dignity of each human being especially the most vulnerable and defenseless of all human beings – the child in the womb. It is precisely on this bed rock principle that the Church’s entire social justice teaching rises to meet the challenges of the modern world.
CM’s goal to educate for justice cannot just be the theme for one year in the University’s life. We need fresh ideas that keep the issues of our time in the forefront of ministry. We try to listen more attentively to your passionate desire to promote a more just world within our Catholic life and mission. Students on the Mount and Students for Life can always use more hands and hearts to promote the Gospel of Life. And, the other great student organizations like APO and Habitat for Humanity explicitly support by their charters the same ideals of service and systemic change in society. The Office of Campus Ministry values every student’s desire to make a difference in this world. Please help us to fulfill this Gospel mandate to work for justice by your continued involvement and suggestions. Please come and help us to discover new roles of service and new ideas that promote the dignity of each human being from conception to natural death. You are truly empowered by the Spirit and each of you makes a significant difference by your service and involvement.