Wednesday, September 18, 2013

At the Heart of the New Evangelization

Our Ultimate Frisbee Event (My team WON)
In the chapel of the Catholic Center at Boston University there hangs a portrait of Blessed John Paul II.  The students here have a devotion to him and have asked him to be our patron this year.  It was really Blessed John Paul II who led the Church into the New Evangelization.  In my post today, I would like to convince you to become a supporter of the Newman House Catholic Center at Boston University.  To be a supporter of this amazing place is to be a supporter of the New Evangelization.

Let me tell you what I have witnessed since arriving here a short time ago:

Typically, I hear several confessions a day.  The young people here are sincere in their desire to seek out the Lord Jesus in His Mercy.

In our small chapel each day, there are somewhere between 20 and 30 young people who come for daily Mass.  They pray the Rosary before time.  Others come for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer.  We pray the Angelus together before Mass begins.

On Monday nights, the chapel is filled with young people adoring the Eucharist and worshipping in heartfelt song.  There's always somebody stopping in to the chapel to pray.  And, these young people know how to pray.  They have a beautiful relationship with Christ.

On Tuesday nights, there is praise and worship, a formational talk on some particular topic, and a witness by one of the students.  Then, there is time for the students to discuss the issues raised.  Before the evening begins, there is a spaghetti dinner for any students who want to come.

On Wednesday nights, the Grad group meets for a formational evening.

There is an RCIA that meets on Sundays for those wanting to become Catholic.

Also on Sundays, a Men's Group meets and a Women's Group meet.

The FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) Missionaries run Bible Studies for groups of students at various times all over the campus.

There are numerous committees (made up of students) who keep the whole place running.  They work effectively and efficiently to keep us on mission and to keep us "out in mission."  These kids are really amazing.  They have an incredible sense of responsibility for the mission of the Catholic Center and they are totally dedicated to being witnesses of Christ's love to others.  They know how to serve.

We have two interns.  These two graduates of Boston University work tirelessly for the Catholic Center and keep all of the programs operating.  They fundraise their own salaries.  They do this because they are grateful for what they received from the Newman House Catholic Center at Boston University when they were students.  They oversee all of our programming and keep all of the committees on task.

We have four FOCUS Missionaries.  They are all college graduates who have chosen to give a few years of their life in order to be missionaries at various universities.  They help students to grow in discipleship of Jesus Christ.  They too fundraise their own salaries.  They work hard and are constantly meeting with students, attending events, and bringing Christ's love to others.

We have an Office Manager who is completely dedicated to the young people here.  She never stops.  She keeps the whole place running and does way more than we could ever reasonably expect of someone.  

We have a music minister who, like the Office Manager, does way more than we could ever expect him to do.  The music here is rooted in a deep love of Christ.

There are retreats, days of prayer, and service projects.  Again and again, I have heard from graduates and students that the Catholic Center has been there home away from home.  From morning until night, there are young people here, eating our food, studying in our rooms, sleeping on our couches, and hanging out together.  There are guys watching the football game together, playing intramural sports together, and arguing baseball trivia. The formation that these students have received is clearly evident.  Their charity is obvious.  They have a profound love for one another and welcome the newcomer with joy.  

There's no agenda, ideology, bitterness, or anger among these kids.  They simply want to share Christ's love with everyone.

There is a great sense of true communion among them.  They love one another.  It is really quite beautiful.  They're not looking to impose their beliefs on anyone.  They are joyful in proposing Christ and His way of life.  They want people to discover the joy of the Christian life and want to share with them the joy of living in Christ's love.

The Catholic Center is a place where vocations to the priesthood and the religious life are considered as real possibilities and many vocations have come from here in the past few years.

On Sundays, it is beautiful to see hundreds of young people joyfully participating in the Mass.  Before Mass, I am often asked if I have time to hear a confession.  

Seriously, this place is a true outpost of the New Evangelization.  These kids are on fire for Christ and seeing them is so encouraging.  To support this place is to support the future of the Church in the United States.  I can guarantee you that if you support this place, your money is going to amazing things and to an awesome mission.  I can say that without an ounce of hesitation.  A donation here is a donation directly to the New Evangelization.

In the past week, we have made it possible for people to donate to the Newman House Catholic Center at Boston University through a system known as "ParishPay."  This method of electronic giving makes it possible for people to donate a set amount once a month or to make a one time donation.  I'm hoping to build up our finances so that we can continue and grow our mission.

The first three people who signed up were a former parishioner of mine, a graduate student, and an undergraduate student.  I would like to add many more contributors.  I would like alumni, parents, students, friends, and family to consider being a supporter of this center of the New Evangelization.  Worried that your money goes to things you don't want to support?  A donation here is a donation to help people encounter the love of Jesus Christ.

It would be a huge help to this community if students, parents, friends, family, and people who want to support the New Evangelization could designate us as one of the places you choose to support.  Unlike most parishes, our congregation consists of all young people!  While this is awesome, not too many of our students are making big money!  So, our collection is small.  But, my hope is that even our students will sign up for ParishPay so that we can prove to others how much we all value this place and our mission.

If you think you might be willing to support us and our mission, I ask you to go to the following link, click where it says, "ParishPay," and follow the easy instructions. Please visit the donation page on our website.  It is so easy that even I can do it.

This place is really awesome and is the New Evangelization at its best. Think about being part of this community.

Your Brother in Christ,

Fr. David Barnes

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