Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Gettysburg’s Catholic Campus Ministry Welcomes Bishop Senior for Pastoral Visit

More than 300 faithful gathered at Christ Chapel on the campus of Gettysburg College on Sunday, February 25 for Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Timothy Senior, marking his first visit to the campus and its students.

Dedicated in 1953 when the college was deeply connected to the Lutheran Church, Christ Chapel is now an interfaith space on campus. On the second Sunday of Lent, it was filled with Catholic college students and members of the community to welcome the shepherd of the Diocese.

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading of the Transfiguration of Jesus, Bishop Senior told the congregation that God gives us transfigurative moments of insight and reassurance when times are difficult.

“Think about the moments of insight when you feel genuinely at peace, happy, full of grace,” he said. “We are all a part of God’s bigger plan.”

The bishop shared that music is a moment of transfiguration and of insight into the Divine Being for him. “It can touch your heart in a profound way and be a moment of grace that says, ‘It’s going to be OK.’”

“Let us remember the reassurance that God is with us,” he said. “‘If God is with us, who can be against us?’ St. Paul tells us.”

Catholic Campus Ministry is a vibrant and multi-faceted community at Gettysburg College, and one that brings students together in faith, service and community.

It is highlighted by weekly Sunday Masses and dinner, for which students serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, altar servers, lectors and choir members. There are also opportunities for Bible study, retreats, service trips and social events. Father Aaron Lynch, chaplain, and Marie Hopkins, associate director, are available to students who are facing challenges or just need an ear to listen.

Catholic Campus Ministry and the Newman Association offer a variety of activities, projects and get-togethers that appeal to students looking for a home away from home, Father Lynch said.

Students in the CCM’s book club are currently reading “An Introduction to the Devout Life,” by St. Francis de Sales; engaging in a weekly “Seeds for the Soul” event which examines a topic on Church teaching; and have enjoyed day-retreats to shrines in D.C., Philadelphia and Emmitsburg.

“We have an incredibly diverse group of students, and even international Catholic students from Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cameroon, and they bring different gifts and perspectives,” Father Lynch told The Witness. “We also have a number of non-Catholic students who join us for activities and have found a home within the CCM here.”

“There has been an overwhelming response from students who want to have a home in CCM. They have expressed that they feel free to get involved while expressing their faith, being challenged and finding support and friendship in a Catholic environment,” he said.

For more information about Catholic Campus Ministry at Gettysburg College, visit this link. To learn more about Catholic Campus Ministry at colleges and universities within the Diocese of Harrisburg, visit this site.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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