Keeping The Faith on Campus

Kevin O’Brien, SJ, has a brief, thoughtful, and helpful piece in the WaPo.

Those going off to college this time of year are in the midst of the most significant transition of their lives. Academically, these high school graduates will learn to think more deeply, read more broadly, and write more cogently. Socially, relationships will shift as distance tests high school friendships and families adjust to a new way of being together. Emotionally, they will likely experience a mix of feelings about their new life. Often overlooked in the transition to college are the spiritual and religious dimensions of the change.

Too true.

As a liturgist/campus minister, I don’t get out on campus as much as my other colleagues. I don’t see the locus for doubt quite as much. The young women and men who come to church are most often either continuing on a thread of faith or they have returned to the Church after some years away.

I suppose if I thought about the 32,000 undergrads across the street, 6,000 of whom are Catholic, I could start wringing my hands about it. We’ll get about a thousand to register. Another thousand will show up on Parents’ Weekend and/or Ash Wednesday. The young miss will be heading to college in two years. Eep.

(Y)oung adults transitioning to college need to be gentle with themselves and others.  Parents do well to model that patience.

Campus ministers too.

Anybody reading off to college this week or otherwise soon? Any parents?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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