US, Canadian Catholic Campus Ministers Meet
Members from the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) and the Canadian Campus Ministry Association (CCCM) met to brainstorm about the Year of Faith at the 2012 Global Conference of Chaplains in Higher Education this summer at Yale University.
The conference gave 400 campus ministers from all faiths a chance to talk about how to serve college students, respect and work with each other, and deal with practical issues such sharing space. But the two Catholic oganizations also took the opportunity to discuss particularly Catholic challenges and opportunities.
CCMA, based in Cincinnati, works with campus ministers around the country. Though CCCM has a similar mission, the two groups haven’t formerly worked together before.
“Having the opportunity to gather with campus ministers from Canada was a great opportunity to have an experience of the broader Church and ministry,” says CCMA Board Chair Laurie Svatek. “It will undoubtedly benefit those ministering in the United States.”
The meetings took place at Yale’s St. Thomas More Catholic Center. Svatek and CCMA Executive Director Fr. Marty Moran led discussions about how to plan and implement Year of Faith events beginning in October. “It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and begin to find ways of partnering with folks across the American border to explore best practices in implementing the New Evangelization and Catecheses,” says Fr. Moran, who is also pastor of Holy Cross-Immaculata parish in Mt. Adams (OH).
The discussion centered on Pope Benedict XVI’s emphasis on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as essential pillars of transmitting and teaching the Catholic faith. “The challenge for our chaplaincies is to bring these documents alive for our students, to increase their knowledge and depth of the faith, and fundamentally, to help facilitate a relationship and encounter with Jesus Christ,” says Kyle Ferguson, National Coordinator for CCCM.
Both the Canadian and American organizations capped off their meeting by an evening of socializing at the Knights of Columbus national headquarters and a tour of the Knights national museum. The chaplains and campus ministers say they enjoyed the warm hospitality provided by the Knights and their interest in organizations’ missions to be a witness to the Catholic faith on campus and to provide pastoral care for university students.
Both organizations look forward to working together. “The two organizations have many common goals, and we look forward to future partnerships with CCMA,” says Oriana Bertucci, CCCM Chair.
For information about the CCMA national conference in January 2013, including scholarships available to chaplains and campus ministers with limited budgets, click here.
Photo courtesy the Catholic Campus Ministry Association.