Sisters lend a hand to Catholic campus ministry at UW-GB

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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
Chestnut House Resize

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.

Stay in touch -- This story originally appeared in the Sisters' newsletter. Subscribe to our FREE printed newsletter (issued five times a year) and our FREE e-spiritual reflections (weekly). We enjoy hearing from you so visit our “Send a Greeting to Sister” page and say hello. Thank you and God bless!

“I’ve always had trouble reading Scripture. I didn’t get anything out of it. But it was different this time. Being a part of the Wednesday night Bible study gave me a new ‘tool’ in my prayer life.” -- Sam M., '16

“ I joined the Newman Club because I wanted to learn more about my faith, meet fellow students who have similar beliefs, and to be active on campus and throughout the UWGB Catholic Campus community.” -- Alex G., '17

“I really like the Newman Club because it's a relaxed environment where I can be myself, ask questions, learn about my faith and have fun with other students!  Other people will like campus ministry if they are looking to be involved with the community, take part in exciting events on and off campus, and if they are looking to expand their knowledge of the Catholic faith.” -- Morgan  M., '18

“Catholic Campus Ministry allows you to continue, or start to grow your Catholic faith; the ability to do this during College is what drew me to the community." -- Matthew  L., '18

“The Newman Club and the Catholic Campus ministry has given me a special group of tightly knit friends that have a common love for Jesus as well as passion to share it with others.” -- Gina V., '16

“I joined campus ministry because I wanted to have some sort of group to be able to be open with about my faith and have discussions about the Catholic religion with. I wanted to form friendships with other people my age who also share similar beliefs as me. I am SO glad I joined and have made several very close friends along the way which I am very thankful for! I absolutely love campus ministry!" -- Stephanie K., '19

"It's hard to live a life of faith and virtue, unless you have friends who are trying to do the same. The Newman Club surrounds you with Catholic students, who will love, support and strengthen you, and your Catholic Faith." -- James  B., '19

"I joined Newman Club because I like that we, as college students, can express our thoughts and ask questions about the Catholic faith. Many topics which we have discussed so far have been topics that I was interested in, but never asked questions about because I never felt comfortable enough to; and being in the same age group helps us be a faithful family with the same interest and no judgment." -- Sarah  G., '17

Campus Catholic Ministries has provided me a supportive, loving community of friends at UWGB who share the goal of wishing to live for Christ as Catholic Christians. Through Newman's small group discussions, group prayer, and retreats, I have been challenged to grow in faith as well as a Christian leader. I know that I will carry the skills and values that CCM has strengthened in me beyond the UWGB campus and into my daily life upon my graduation. -- Leslie T.