Change of heart
January 24, 2017
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For Cathedral Catholic High School students, serving as a campus minister means being a leader in faith and a role model of Christ by demonstrating God’s love for everyone through words and actions.
“Campus ministry is for people who want to serve their community by being faith leaders for their peers,” Dean of Ministry and Mission Ms. Alison Purpera said.
The Campus Ministry program is constantly changing and evolving, so implementing what will be two changes to the program in the past year ensures the best experience for CCHS students.
Next year, instead of having separate classes, such as Liturgy, Service, Outreach, Retreat, and Sports Outreach, Campus Ministry will be generalized into two classes: Campus Ministry 12 and Campus Ministry 11. Seniors will specialize in retreats and juniors in liturgies, while both classes will tackle planning service trips, XLT nights, and other religious activities in a combined effort, Purpera said.
The news of the change has elicited various responses from the student body, with some students signing a petition to preserve the status quo.
However, the change has not deterred liturgy minister Kiki Carney ’18 from fully living out her faith and applying for campus ministry for the 2017-2018 school year.
“The change in Campus Ministry next year doesn’t affect my decision to apply at all,” Carney said. “I personally think it’s even better now because we can all do a little bit of everything. My main focus is bonding with my friends and new friends on a spiritual level, and we’ll be able to do that with anything we do.”
Ms. Purpera has spoken out about the reasons for the change, explaining that the changes are designed to bring students closer to God.
After seeing the disappointment and heartbreak from students not getting into the Campus Ministry class of their choosing in previous years, the CCHS Campus Ministry team decided that it was time to eliminate the competition and leave the decision up to God.
“There seemed to be a sort of ranking system in Campus Ministry, and if you weren’t in a certain class, students felt like they were almost inferior to others in their faith,” Ms. Purpera said. “So to stop that, we decided to propose a change.
“With the new campus ministry program, students will be exactly where God wants them to be.”
Though the process of obtaining approval for the change proved long and tedious, the Campus Ministry team worked tirelessly to help their students experience every kind of service through ministry at CCHS. The team talked and prayed together before they brought up the idea to administration, which approved the plan.
According to Ms. Purpera, the driving motivation for the change is to see students united under one common purpose while living out God’s plan for them – no matter what that may be.
After the class lists for Campus Ministry came out last year, many students were left feeling broken down and hurt, with some students even feeling like their faith was not good enough.
Many current campus ministers, including sports outreach leader Molly Brennan ’17, were a little hesitant about the change when they heard that the decision was finalized. However, after hearing the reasoning behind the adjustment, campus ministers quickly reversed their opinions and experienced a change of heart.
“Campus ministry is a fun group to be a part of, and it plays such a large role in the development of people’s faith,” Brennan said. “So when people are restricted from being in a certain class, it can put limitations on their faith.
“Having one class gives students the opportunity to explore different realms of their faith and ultimately choose which area speaks most to them.”
Though change is sometimes difficult to grasp, the campus ministry team and religion department are ready to help students on their faith journeys in every way possible.
“My advice would be to have an open heart and pray about it,” Ms. Purpera said. “If you’re ready to serve your community as a campus minister, trust that God will put you in the best possible position to do so.”