Friday, April 3, 2020

4.5.2020

Change upon Change
Each day it seems there are new and harrowing statistics, new factors to consider with this virus and its impact on the globe, and new directives and measures being put into place as our country braces itself for the peak of this pandemic. We have all experienced an incredible amount of change in an incredibly short amount of time. It has been one change upon another, and can be downright disorienting and discouraging. Tossed about as we are in these turbulent seas, all the more do we need an anchor in our faith. This image of being tossed about by the waves featured prominently last Friday in Pope Francis’ message and blessing to the world.  He reflected on the short passage from the fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel (4:35-41) describing the episode in which the disciples were caught in a violent storm on the sea, all while Jesus was asleep in the stern of the boat. They woke him and he rebuked the wind and the sea, then asked his disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” Anyone keeping up on what our world is facing right now might reasonably be terrified, and yet we are called to have faith - faith in the one “whom even the wind and sea obey.” In Pope Francis’ address, he also had some beautiful statements about what this experience is already teaching us. He described this as a time not of God’s judgment, but of ours, “a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not.  It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to the [the Lord] and to others.” How true. Think of all the things that even a month ago may have seemed “important,” which now seem silly, from our particular food preferences to celebrity gossip to sports scores (though I have to say, I am missing my English Premier League soccer and the start of the baseball season). Yes, in a way that perhaps nothing else could, this has given us the gift of perspective. I hope and pray that on the other side of this we will not have missed the opportunity to become more the people we are called by God to be, sharing this common home called earth. As if there weren’t already enough change, I have to announce a change in regard to my own assignment. Beginning July 1, while remaining as chaplain for the university, I will become the vicar general for the Diocese of Davenport, working more closely with Bishop Zinkula in the affairs of the diocese.  Much like my first year here as chaplain, when I was also vocations director for the diocese, this will require me to split my time some and will require some creative restructuring within Campus Ministry. Still, I’m very happy to be able to continue in my ministry here and am honored and humbled (though, a little terrified myself) by this new appointment. Your prayers are appreciated! --Fr. Thom    
Did you know Fr. Thom has a podcast?
Fr. Thom and Megan Grady have started a podcast to discuss pop culture as well as topics regarding faith.
Check out the newest episode of "The Faith Awakens!"
You still haven't listened to episode #1? Click here!
Follow us on Instagram (@saucampusmin) and Facebook (St. Ambrose University Campus Ministry) to join us in these events!
Click here to listen to Fr. Thom's homily from last Sunday!
Tune in to KALA on 88.5FM
at 12:00 noon on
Sunday, April 5th to
hear Mass with Fr. Thom!
Listen here!
CRS Rice Bowls:

Did you pick up a CRS Rice Bowl this Lent and now you're not sure how to best go about donating?

Because of social distancing, we will not be collecting the bowls this year.

In the spirit of the Lenten practice of almsgiving, we encourage you to donate online instead! 
Donate online here!
Campus Ministry is always here to pray for you. Send us prayer requests here!
Digital Prayer Resources
 
Give Us This Day: Give Us This Day has made available at no charge a digital file of their periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. Visit GUTD.net and select "Digital" in the upper right of the screen.

The Diocese of Davenport: The Diocese has been posting updates about how COVID-19 has affected the Diocese as well as spiritual care resources.

Be Not Afraid Conference: Sign up for daily inspiration and hope-filled emails from C
atholic speakers.

The USCCB: The USCCB has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested several online resources, live-streamed Masses, and prayers, especially seeking the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Understanding the Lenten Fast and Abstinence
FASTING: Catholics age 18-59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday - only partaking in one full meal.  Two other smaller meals (not equaling a full meal) and liquids are permitted.
ABSTINENCE: Catholics over 14 years old must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all other Fridays of Lent.  Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not eggs, milk, or condiments made from animal fat.  We are reminded each year that the obligation to do this penance is a serious one, but no one should be scrupulous in this regard; if health reasons or the ability to do one's work is seriously affected, these regulations do not apply.

Fast Fest will continue on Instagram! Follow
 @saucampusmin for updates and learn how you can fast from convenience, even during a pandemic!

Have a question about a program or event going on in Campus Ministry?
Got an idea for something you'd like to see happen?
EMAIL US at ministry@sau.edu.

Follow us online for news, events, prayer and spiritual resources, plus much more:
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

Friday, March 27, 2020

3.29.2020

Two Weeks and a Different World
Many things that just two weeks ago seemed peripheral or even “gimmicky” to me in regard to our campus ministry here at St. Ambrose have suddenly become central. I had always been comfortable as something of a luddite (one who is resistant to technological change) when it came to social media and the like. I was always more about “ministry of presence,” and “real contact” in this increasingly high-tech, low-touch, connected-yet-disconnected world. Now, it seems we have little choice, and I am so grateful for the ways available to us to continue to communicate with each other. I guess this is what it took to drag me into in the 21st century. Just last evening we had an online gathering to try to simulate what we would typically do after our Wednesday night “Mass & More” (now live-streamed), when we would all hang out and visit with each other in the gathering space of the chapel.  We had almost twenty students on for our first attempt at this. I will admit it was a little chaotic with people talking over each other, background noise, etc., not to mention the “Brady Bunch meets the Duggars” panel of faces. Still, it was truly wonderful to see everyone, to smile, to laugh, and to remember that we are all still here, even if physically distanced. As our campus ministry strives to offer meaningful student ministry in these days of social isolation, let us keep each other and our world in prayer, remembering especially the sick and the dying. I would offer the following “Prayer for a Pandemic” that I came across. Perhaps you have seen it already, but it certainly hits home. God bless and take care. --Fr. Thom
“Prayer for a Pandemic”
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.
Did you know Fr. Thom has a podcast?
Fr. Thom and Megan Grady have started a podcast to discuss pop culture as well as topics regarding faith.
Check out the newest episode of "The Faith Awakens!"
You still haven't listened to episode #1? Click here!
Follow us on Instagram (@saucampusmin) and Facebook (St. Ambrose University Campus Ministry) to join us in these events!
Urbi et Orbi Blessing

On Friday, March 27th, 2020, Pope Francis will be giving an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi ("To the City [of Rome] and to the World") blessing at 6:00 pm in Rome (12:00 noon Central Time Zone).

We will post links to tune into the special blessing on Instagram and Facebook.

Read more about the blessing here.

Tune in to KALA on 88.5FM
at 12:00 noon on
Sunday, March 29th to
hear Mass with Fr. Thom!
Campus Ministry is always here to pray for you. Send us prayer requests here!
Congratulations 2020-2021 Peer Campus Ministers!

The following students have been selected to serve as
Peer Campus Ministers for the 2020-2021 academic year:

Grace Johanns - Bechtel; Matt Jung & Allie Lauer - Cosgrove;
Jess Mendenhall - Davis; Emily Mohr - Franklin;
Megan Grady - Hagen; Rachel Wiedman - McCarthy;
Zac Robinson & Ellie VanLandShoot - North;
Alberto Vargas -  Rohlman; Sarah Smith - Tiedemann;
Meghan Curran - Townhouses.

Congratulations to next year's Peer Campus Ministry Team!
Digital Prayer Resources
 
Give Us This Day: Give Us This Day has made available at no charge a digital file of their periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. Visit GUTD.net and select "Digital" in the upper right of the screen.

The Diocese of Davenport: The Diocese has been posting updates about how COVID-19 has affected the Diocese as well as spiritual care resources.

Be Not Afraid Conference: Sign up for daily inspiration and hope-filled emails from C
atholic speakers.

The USCCB: The USCCB has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested several online resources, live-streamed Masses, and prayers, especially seeking the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Understanding the Lenten Fast and Abstinence
FASTING: Catholics age 18-59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday - only partaking in one full meal.  Two other smaller meals (not equaling a full meal) and liquids are permitted.
ABSTINENCE: Catholics over 14 years old must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all other Fridays of Lent.  Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not eggs, milk, or condiments made from animal fat.  We are reminded each year that the obligation to do this penance is a serious one, but no one should be scrupulous in this regard; if health reasons or the ability to do one's work is seriously affected, these regulations do not apply.

Fast Fest will continue on Instagram! Follow
 @saucampusmin for updates and learn how you can fast from convenience, even during a pandemic!

Click here for the March edition of the Catholic Messenger Express!
Have a question about a program or event going on in Campus Ministry?
Got an idea for something you'd like to see happen?
EMAIL US at ministry@sau.edu.

Follow us online for news, events, prayer and spiritual resources, plus much more:
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

Thursday, March 19, 2020

3.19.2020

Strange Days
It is hard to come up with words for what is happening right now, both here on campus and around the world. While the earth has seen pandemics in the past, there is something truly unprecedented about this one, at least in the far-reaching spread of this particular virus, but also in the way that humanity has been able to be informed and unite in the face of this crisis. If there was any doubt about how connected we are as a human family sharing this planet, this pandemic has put that question to rest. I was with students on a spring break service trip to Mississippi when we got the news that the university would be suspending in-person classes until at least March 30 (I’m told we will hear more Monday as to whether that may be extended). The students, to their credit, took it in great stride. When I asked them if they felt like we should cut our trip short to head back early, they unanimously said “no.”  They wanted to finish the job we were there to do (putting in new floors, doors and stairs in a home for a single mother and her children). Honestly, it was a fantastic trip, despite the bad news we got toward the end. I’m glad that we were able to get our spring break service trips in at all. I’m also glad we were able to have our Antioch retreat this semester before all of this, though it seemed “early” at the time. Needless to say, much has changed and will continue to change in how we go about campus ministry in these strange days. Last night we live-streamed a non-public “Mass & More” from a largely empty Christ the King Chapel (with just campus ministry staff and Sister Joan present) and will plan to do so again next Wednesday. We have also included in this bulletin a number of prayer resources that may be particularly helpful to maintain your spiritual life in this time. Of course, I also have to plug our new Campus Ministry podcast, “The Faith Awakens,” with me and student Megan Grady.  We have 3 episodes up now, so that should help you pass about an hour and a half of your isolation. Most importantly, let us all keep each other and the world in prayer, seek ways to create and sustain community with each other despite the demands of social distancing, and remember that God is with us. Be well and God bless! --Fr. Thom        
Worldwide Rosary
Today at 3:00 pm


Pope Francis has invited Catholics everywhere to say the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary at 9:00 pm in Rome, or 3:00 pm (Central Time Zone), today, March 19th.

Join us in prayer as we live stream from the Campus Ministry Facebook and Instagram.

Click here for the Luminous Mysteries, and here for a reminder of how to pray the Rosary.
Did you know Fr. Thom has a podcast?
Fr. Thom and Megan Grady have started a podcast to discuss pop culture as well as topics regarding faith.
Check out the newest episode of "The Faith Awakens!"
Click here to listen to episode #2!
Did you miss episode #1? Click here!
Congratulations 2020-2021 Peer Campus Ministers!

The following students have been selected to serve as
Peer Campus Ministers for the 2020-2021 academic year:

Grace Johanns - Bechtel; Matt Jung & Allie Lauer - Cosgrove;
Jess Mendenhall - Davis; Emily Mohr - Franklin;
Megan Grady - Hagen; Rachel Wiedman - McCarthy;
Zac Robinson & Ellie VanLandShoot - North;
Alberto Vargas -  Rohlman; Sarah Smith - Tiedemann;
Meghan Curran - Townhouses.

Congratulations to next year's Peer Campus Ministry Team!
Digital Prayer Resources
 
Give Us This Day: Give Us This Day has made available at no charge a digital file of their periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. Visit GUTD.net and select "Digital" in the upper right of the screen.

The Diocese of Davenport: The Diocese has been posting updates about how COVID-19 has affected the Diocese as well as spiritual care resources.

Be Not Afraid Conference: Sign up for daily inspiration and hope-filled emails from C
atholic speakers.

The USCCB: The USCCB has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested several online resources, live-streamed Masses, and prayers, especially seeking the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Understanding the Lenten Fast and Abstinence
FASTING: Catholics age 18-59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday - only partaking in one full meal.  Two other smaller meals (not equaling a full meal) and liquids are permitted.
ABSTINENCE: Catholics over 14 years old must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all other Fridays of Lent.  Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not eggs, milk, or condiments made from animal fat.  We are reminded each year that the obligation to do this penance is a serious one, but no one should be scrupulous in this regard; if health reasons or the ability to do one's work is seriously affected, these regulations do not apply.

Fast Fest will continue on Instagram! Follow
 @saucampusmin for updates and learn how you can fast from convenience, even during a pandemic!

This week, Ambrosians for Peace & Justice had planned on watching "Minimalism," an incredible documentary about simplifying your life. Click here to watch the trailer. If you're interested, the documentary can be watched on several streaming services, including Netflix.
Click here for the March edition of the Catholic Messenger Express!
Have a question about a program or event going on in Campus Ministry?
Got an idea for something you'd like to see happen?
EMAIL US at ministry@sau.edu.

Follow us online for news, events, prayer and spiritual resources, plus much more:
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook