A lot has happened since my last blog post. Rider Catholic Campus Ministry is up and running. We have established student leadership and the leaders are incredible. These students want CCM to be successful and I know that with them it will be successful! Finding these leaders was not easy. I sent out the application and had to wait, I was expecting the applications to come in quickly, but they took time. It was definitely worth the wait. These students have naturally fallen into their roles and have already had a successful on campus service event.
I have also loved how eager these students are to learn. We have weekly meetings and last week we talked about All Saints Day. We had an in-depth conversation about the role of saints in the Catholic Church! We also discussed different saints that have patronages that college students might find helpful.
It has been amazing to have these conversations with these students, and I am going to be challenged to keep bringing them something new to talk about.
One challenge I have had at Rider is getting more students involved with the program. The students I have are fantastic, but with them all being busy college students we normally only have an average of five students per meeting. I have tried multiple methods of recruiting students but have yet to have major success. I hope that as time goes on I can reach more students and have CCM be a thriving club on campus! In an attempt to do this we have made a club instagram, follow @rider.ccm if you want to see what we are up to!
I mentioned earlier that with the help of my student leaders we put on a successful on campus service opportunity. The students threw a Fall Party for some of the residents of Visitation Home! Visitation Home has both a day and a residential program for adults with disabilities. The adults visited us at Rider and we enjoyed crafts, snacks, and dancing to 80s music! The students I work with loved the on campus service opportunity and the adults loved their party. We are currently working with two other organizations to have more service opportunities for the students!
The final thing in the works at Rider is having mass on campus. This has been the most common request among students. There have been a lot of challenges in getting mass on campus, but I have been able to get all of the pieces in place. We will begin having mass on campus in Gill Chapel twice a month in November!
Last week I also got the incredible experience of recruiting for the LeaderworX program and FaithJustice Fellowship at four schools in New England. I got to meet so many wonderful students considering doing either a summer or year of service, and then I got to tell them about two programs that I love and have made me into the person I am. In doing these recruiting days I got to reflect on my time so far. This fellowship has challenged me to find new motivation when students weren’t coming to an event. It has taught me how to listen to those I am serving in new ways and allowed me to learn how to meet people where they are at. I have been challenged to understand different aspects of the Catholic faith so I can guide and answer the questions my students have had.
It is crazy that October only marks the second month of my fellowship. I have already experienced so much growth, and I cannot wait to see what the month of November has in store for me!