FAITH ON FIRE: Active in UW-Green Bay’s Newman Club are, from left, Samuel Mantel, Rachel Koepki, Katrina Weber, Danielle Shea, Payton Kronforst and Brianna Bodoh. Sister Laura Zelten is the Green Bay Diocese’s Catholic campus minister for UW-GB students. (Renae Bauer photo)
“Being Catholic as a young adult is not easy. Having CCM (Catholic Campus Ministry) at UW-GB allows me to meet people who are also on fire with our Lord and continue to grow deeper in my faith.” -- Danielle S., '18
by Sister Laura Zelten
(Sept. 2, 2016) -- As the diocesan campus minister for UW-Green Bay students, I walk with young adults as they seek a place where they can ask important life questions and grow in their relationship with Jesus. For young adults -- especially those who are leaving home for the first time and are feeling very alone – growing in faith during the college years can be stressful or confusing, but how blessed I am to walk with such amazing young adults. They help me to grow in my relationship with Jesus. I see my ministry as one of accompanying other pilgrims on the journey to living a life rooted in Jesus’ love.
Supporting the students and me are my Sisters. Some Sisters send homemade cookies for fellowship after events while others attend the Sunday evening liturgy and social. My Sisters have opened the motherhouse chapel to the students for Eucharistic adoration and prayer. It’s a wonderful way for the students to experience our Franciscan lives.
There are other opportunities for students to grow in faith. Through Catholic campus ministry, students can participate in discussion groups, prayer events, service trips and retreats. All of these “stretch” the students as they feel challenged and as they challenge one another to grow as Catholic Christians.
I consider it a privilege to be with them and to journey with them on this brief chapter of their faith walk. I invite you to accompany them, too, by praying for them or by joining us for 7 pm Mass on Sundays at the Student Union on Campus.
7 p.m. Mass leads to learning experiences for Sisters & students
Our household of four Sisters made it a goal last year to attend Mass with the UW-Green Bay student community as a sign of support for campus minister Sister Laura Zelten and to witness to the young people our life as Sisters.
It was hard to leave the house on a Sunday to attend the 7 p.m. Mass on campus, especially in the winter. But each time we went we were so refreshed and filled with hope on our return. The conversation in the car was filled with energy and admiration for the young people.
Their participation at Mass was impressive. They are serious about their faith. They participate in all aspects of the liturgy, from music ministry to the liturgical roles of serving, reading and leading prayers. We marvel at their sense of community. There was no rushing away after Mass. They wanted to be together and share their faith and life together. The students were so warm and welcoming to us, they engaged in conversation, they wanted to know about our life and seemed happy to meet us.
So many times we hear negative remarks about young people not wanting to be a part of the institutional church but that has not been our experience with the students at UW-GB. The students are a source of inspiration to us. They are the future of our Church and give us so much hope.
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