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SGA Update: Campus Ministry visit

Senators+seeking+solutions%3A+SGA+senator+Mike+Degnan+directs+a+question+to+Sue+Chawszczewski%2C+the+Director+of+Campus+Ministry+at+SLU.+Chawszczewski+outlined+many+Campus+Ministry+intiatives%2C+including+new+mission+trips.+Paul+Brunkhorst+%2F+Associate+News+Editor
Senators seeking solutions: SGA senator Mike Degnan directs a question to Sue Chawszczewski, the Director of Campus Ministry at SLU. Chawszczewski outlined many Campus Ministry intiatives, including new mission trips. Paul Brunkhorst / Associate News Editor

Senators seeking solutions: SGA senator Mike Degnan directs a question to Sue Chawszczewski, the Director of Campus Ministry at SLU. Chawszczewski outlined many Campus Ministry intiatives, including new mission trips. Paul Brunkhorst / Associate News Editor

Senators seeking solutions: SGA senator Mike Degnan directs a question to Sue Chawszczewski, the Director of Campus Ministry at SLU. Chawszczewski outlined many Campus Ministry intiatives, including new mission trips. Paul Brunkhorst / Associate News Editor

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Senators seeking solutions: SGA senator Mike Degnan directs a question to Sue Chawszczewski, the Director of Campus Ministry at SLU. Chawszczewski outlined many Campus Ministry intiatives, including new mission trips. Paul Brunkhorst / Associate News Editor

Faith, Ignatian spirituality discussed at latest meeting

On Wednesday, April 15, the Student Government Association had its weekly meeting, and it included special guest Sue Chawszczewski, the Director of Campus Ministry, who discussed the changes that have occurred within Campus Ministry and the initiatives that it hopes to pursue in the future.

“As of Feb. 2, we began reporting to the Division of Student Development,” Chawszczewski said, “and I’m happy to report that has been a seamless, very positive transition for us. We’re really happy to be a part of a division that honors healthy mind, body and spirit. And so we’re really exciting to be playing a role in the development of that for our students on campus.”

In addition to administrative shifts, Campus Ministry has seen other changes; in January, a newly renovated Wuller Hall – Campus Ministry’s physical home – opened, along with the Faith and Justice Collaborative, which now occupies its second floor. But all of this, Chawszczewski said, has been beneficial for Campus Ministry and its mission: helping students with their faith lives.

“We now have over 200 colleagues [who] we can call upon or work with in a different way,” she said.

SGA senators present for Chawszczewski’s discussion asked her a number of questions, which included inquiries into Campus Ministry’s work with other faith groups and its efforts to help people foster their faith lives even after they graduate.

Chawszczewski mentioned a couple of projects that Campus Ministry has in the works to better address the spiritual needs of students who practice religions other than Catholicism. The Mass of the Holy Spirit, for instance, a staple beginning-of-the-year event for Jesuit colleges nationwide, could be accompanied in the future by a spring celebration.

“We are really looking at the possibility of having the Mass of the Holy Spirit continue to be the opening for the academic year in the fall and then have something loosely called the ‘celebration of the Spirit’ at the beginning of the spring, which could be an interfaith opportunity,” Chawszczewski said.

Campus Ministry also has a plan to explore possibly having a week to celebrate Jesuit heritage.

“We think it’s really important that we have a week dedicated to our heritage at Saint Louis University,” Chawszczewski said. “A lot of Jesuit universities do this, so we’re going to at least try and get a placeholder and hope that we can work with the new special assistant to the president for mission and identity in developing that.”

While Chawszczewski also mentioned Campus Ministry’s efforts to begin new mission trips – including one to El Salvador – in her presentation to the senators, she maintained that the goal of Campus Ministry is to help all students foster their faith lives – regardless of their religious tradition.

         “When I came here, there were students from different faith groups who were afraid to come into Campus Ministry,” Chawszczewski said. “And so, when I got here, that was one of my priorities; everybody should feel welcome, no matter where they are. If they are no faith at all, they may still have big questions.”

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SGA Update: Campus Ministry visit