Newman News: Wrapping up the year
The close of the year celebrates memories and friendships, experiences of God and grace and conversion, labors of love in many ministries, and trust in taking steps of transition.
In these last weeks, we have received many applications from students who have answered God's call in their hearts to serve the Newman Community in leadership roles on our Council. With the help of the Holy Spirit, our Selection Committee has listened to each student applicant in interviews and prayerfully discerned leadership roles for next semester. After offering students a share in the responsibilities and ministries of our Center, we commissioned them into their leadership roles at the end of Wednesday night Mass last week, on the feast of the Apostles Philip and James.
In the readings that night, St. Paul shared that he passes on to others what he himself received. And that is what we are called to do as well--to receive and to share. The psalm that night announced that the love of God is to be shared with all people, to the ends of the earth. And the opening prayer reminded us that as servants of the Gospel, we share in the cross of Christ, in the many sacrifices of our time and efforts that we offer up to God in Christ, and we share in his glory and resurrected life. We then had the current leaders of our community light candles from the Paschal Candle that shines during this Easter Season and pass the light to be entrusted to the care of the new leaders, to let it shine to others through their service with the Newman Center.
That night, we also called forth several graduating seniors, to confer on them honor cords to wear at their graduation. These cords are granted to students who have served the Newman Community for at least one full year on Council or other roles to show how their service has been a part of their education and formation experience and how they have grown personally, spiritually, and in leadership. I am so grateful for their outstanding investment of their gifts and enthusiasm of their hearts and friendship to others. The colors of the Honor Cords are red and gold, from the colors of the Coat of Arms of Blessed Cardinal Newman. Red to remember that we share in the sacrifice of the cross and the deep love of God in the heart of Christ. Gold to remember that we share in the life and glory and divinity in communion in God. As Christ's heart beats in our hearts, he fills us with his love and peace and sends us to share this with others, person to person, heart to heart.
I loved to see the laughter and friendship of so many students, and some hugs and tears of goodbyes, as students came for our end-of-year BBQ and coffeehouse. It brought to mind so many years of doing this, so many memories, so many faces of students, now adults, so many music groups and songs and performances, and now this group of students. I pray for them now as they take their Final Exams and turn in their papers, and I pray with them as they take some time to be rooted in Christ's love and peace in Eucharistic Adoration. Please pray for our students, that they be safe this summer in all of their work and trips and service. And pray for our graduating seniors, as they take their first steps into life beyond the Newman Center, into new communities and work and studies.
And know that we continue to pray for you alumni--I am glad that Newman was able to be home for you for a while, and you are still close to my heart.
Newman Center Director