Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Letter to My Fellow Missionaries at the Newman Center at Boston University

Dear BU Newman Center Friends,

A few weeks ago, you all left for a well-earned semester break.  I hope that it was good and restful.  I enjoyed a week away in some warm Florida weather.  I'm trying to figure out a way to convince Boston University to have all of us do every second semester abroad in a warm climate so we can all be together and warm.  So far, the exact proposal is escaping me, but I will continue to work on it.  In the meantime, I'm writing you this letter now--before you actually have course work to read--in the hopes that you might actually read this!  

Although I began work in June, I only met most of you at the beginning of September.  Since that time, I hope that it is entirely obvious to you that I have a great affection for you.  I admire you for your fidelity to Christ, your love for the Gospel and for the Sacraments, and for your evangelical joy and courage.  I see in you what Blessed John Paul II always saw in the young people of the Church.  It is no coincidence that you chose him to be your patron for this school year.  In you, I see a mature zeal for the Lord.  

It is a great grace as a priest to be among young people who love the Eucharist, frequent the Sacrament of Penance, pray so sincerely and beautifully, and who desire to draw others toward the Love of Christ.  You've surprised me.  One might expect that such young people would be carried away with ideology or to be given over to a lot of soap opera like drama!  Instead, you've been dedicated to growing in personal holiness and joyfully evangelizing others.  

I'm really moved by the way that you evangelize.  You're out there.  You're inviting others, praying for others, and witnessing to others.  And, the friendship that we are living together at the Catholic Center provides to all who step into our home the beauty of the attraction of Christ.  It is something truly beautiful.

As we begin second semester, it could be tempting to settle into a sense of complacency.  "Who we've got, we've got." But, let's be compelled by the love of Christ!  You have something beautiful!  Don't be afraid to share it with others.  We are on a big campus and there are thousands of people your age who are hungering to encounter what you've encountered.  You are the missionaries of Christ.

As our new semester together begins, I look forward to being with you.  Remember, there are confessions available every day from 11:45-12:15, followed by Mass at 12:30.  Don't forget to invite others to Confession and Mass.  Share with them the joy you experience in these sacraments.  In addition to our Monday night Adoration and Benediction, we will also have adoration on Wednesday afternoons.  Invite a friend.  Or, use that time in adoration to pray for a friend.  And, of course, on Tuesday Nights, we have our weekly formation night.

I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for the team that I inherited here at the Catholic Center.  Fran, Camille, Bobby, Danny, John, Jenn, Gina, Wesley, and the whole Pastoral Board have been awesome.  So have all of you.  We are all in this together.  Let's make the second semester even more evangelical than the first semester!  Let's live these days together as men and women who are involved in the most important mission that has ever been given.  Because that's exactly who we are.

I look forward to seeing you in a couple of days and to going on mission with you.

Your Brother in Christ,

Fr. David Barnes

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