Hitting the Books
When summer turns to fall, many young people return to campus for another year of study, fun, and activities. College days can be exhilarating and educational, but unfamiliar settings and new people can also cause young adults to question beliefs as they search for purpose in their lives. Sometimes, students find that faith and spiritual practice can be lost in this transition.
Campus RENEW provides a bridge from the faith of childhood to the seeking of young adulthood. Offered through Catholic campus ministry programs, Campus RENEW brings students, faculty, and staff together for faith-based discussions of life, work, and relationships. In gatherings of small Christian communities, participants encounter God, and explore ways to be of service to others and have a deep spiritual and prayerful life. RENEW International supports Campus RENEW by providing human and material resources for campus minsters to invite young men and women to form these small communities for faith sharing and actions that connect that faith to their everyday lives.
Fr. Genaro Aguilar, C.S.C., discusses faith
with students at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania,
where Campus RENEW is underway.
Since 2003, more than one hundred campus ministry groups have completed the full five-year Campus RENEW process. Most recently, RENEW has begun working with Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, and King’s College in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Students and faculty members at Sacred Heart came together and formed small communities based on majors, residence halls, and general interests. They have planned a retreat this fall that will introduce their incoming freshmen to the small-community experience. At King’s College, the students are addressing the needs of the commuter population by creating workable schedules for more effective meetings.
Robert Moulton, King’s College, Class of 2014, and Campus RENEW Core Team member, affirms the benefit of this experience: “Campus RENEW is a great way for any student to deepen his or her faith. It brings students together to make friends and enjoy a peaceful time to find the deeper meaning of their lives.”
In addition, small communities can continue to meet on campuses after the formal process has been completed. Two of the most active groups include St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, with about 300 students, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where about 200 students still gather.
Please consider making a donation to RENEW International to further our campus outreach by supporting our staff time, travel, and program materials.