What does life look like for a Catholic on a college campus? It looks a lot like what you imagine, with some added opportunities. They have classes, clubs, friends, jobs, homework, homework, project meetings, and a little more homework. Additionally, at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU), and colleges across the country, students are offered opportunities for the sacraments, faith pilgrimages, service opportunities and community with others who share their beliefs.
Here, at SMSU, we have a vibrant, active community on campus. Based on numbers we received when faith based information was collected and shared, we estimate the Catholic student population is between 6% and 8% of the approximately 3000 students served on our campus. In any given week, we routinely see between 45 and 50 students, or approximately 20% of the Catholic students on campus. Some students are stopping by for fellowship activities at the Campus Religious Center. Others are attending either weekly or daily Mass within the AFC. More join us for small group discussions on topics such as the Book of Matthew, Living Life with Passion and Purpose, or Dinner and Discussion. They also find time at the CRC for studying and raiding the fridge for leftovers from one of the 6+ meals served each week.
According to a study the Newman Connection commissioned, approximately 5% of Catholic college students are actively participating in their faith. Many times, the challenge for students to connect lies in knowledge. They don’t know where to find their Catholic opportunities, and due to data-privacy changes, colleges can no longer collect or share faith based information, so Campus Ministry programs are unable to locate students in an effective manner.
When you receive your Newman Connection packet, please forward the information for your graduating seniors in the prepaid self-addressed envelopes you will receive. The toughest part of a campus minister’s job is finding the students to minister to! By providing this information, Newman Connection will prepare reports to give each ministry program the opportunity to build relationships with your students. Thank you for doing your part in encouraging your students to continue their faith journey after they leave home.