Dear Parents, Friends, and Alumni of St. Francis of Assisi University Parish and Newman Center,
Grace and Peace! Thanks for taking the time to connect or reconnect with St. Francis of Assisi. If it has been a while since you have visited us, I hope your take some time to get acquainted with all St. Francis has to offer our college students.
College is a time when young people can mature intellectually, grow in self-discovery, meet new people, and expand their horizons. As you know, it is an exciting, and sometimes scary, time. There is also an amazing opportunity to nurture their Catholic faith, to bring it to a more mature level – intellectually, spiritually, and actively. Catholic Campus Ministry at Ball State is here to help students embrace the Faith as his/her own and grow in it within our faith community! Currently, students have the opportunity to participate in Catholic Bible studies on campus. They can pray during any of the 5 hours of weekly Eucharistic Adoration offered at St. Francis. They have the opportunity to be reconciled to God and talk to a priest during any of the 3 hours in which Confessions are heard weekly and be nourished at the 9 Masses offered weekly. In addition to those opportunities for growth in faith and prayer, St. Francis offers times for service opportunities, praise & worship, social events, home-cooked meals, spiritual retreats, leadership workshops, and talks on current events from a Catholic perspective.
Unfortunately, college is also a time when many people fall away from their faith. In our secular society, temptations abound, the "party scene" being an example. Also, as you can imagine college campuses, including Ball State, are not always a friendly environment for the Catholic faith to thrive as some students have experienced blatant anti-Catholicism from their professors. To help our young people make the right choices and avoid poor choices, Catholic Campus Ministry at Ball State is needed now more than ever, and we are succeeding. We have been blessed to be one of the fastest growing Newman Centers in the country! In just 3 years, we have seen a 400% increase in the number of students who attend weekly events and daily Mass! Every week, over 200 students are engaged in at least one of the ministries we offer!
We need your help! As you see from the many faith opportunities listed above, the Newman Center has a lot to offer. However, in order to continue to provide these opportunities for the students and expand our ministry to reach even more souls for Christ, we need the help of BSU Alumni, St. Francis friends, and concerned parents. First, we need your prayers for the continued success of our ministry. Next, we also need your financial support as we only receive a small percentage of our ministry funding from the parish and the diocese.
Currently, it costs approximately $250 annually to meet the spiritual needs of one student attending St. Francis of Assisi. We are currently serving over 400 registered students. That number, however, does not even include the other estimated 1,500 Catholic students on campus we are not yet reaching through our Newman Center outreach and programming!
A gift of $250 would help us greatly in providing retreats, conferences, speakers, vocational discernment opportunities, and other programs for one student to grow in faith, have a safe environment for social gatherings, and to answer the anti-Catholic rhetoric that he/she is exposed to in some of his/her classes and on campus. This year, will you consider sponsoring one or more of today's students at St. Francis of Assisi?
If you are unable to sponsor a student for a year, could you sponsor one Catholic Bible study on campus with a gift of $100?
Could you provide one student with the opportunity to attend a FOCUS Conference or visit a seminary or convent for discernment with a gift of $200?
Could you help us bring representatives from a religious community to the BSU campus with a gift of $500?
Please know that every gift will allow more souls, at Ball State University and beyond, to have the opportunity to hear, receive, embrace, and live out the Gospel. Your prayerful support of Catholic Campus Ministry at Ball State University will have a lasting impact now and into eternity. Thank you for your generosity and may God bless you abundantly.
The Pastor and Staff of St. Francis of Assisi