Less than one year ago, I arrived at St. Peter’s as the new Center Coordinator. While St. Peter’s has become such an intimate part of my life that it feels like I have been here forever, I am amazed that I am actually still experiencing things here for the first time.
Last week, I attended my very first Block Party at St. Peter’s. Block Party is an annual tradition here to welcome in the university community at the start of a new academic year. It is a great opportunity to see old friends after summer break, but also to meet and greet all the new Catholic freshmen and transfer students. We also love to see the faculty and staff friends of St. Peter’s as they drop by for a burger and cold drink.
There are lots of details involved in pulling off an evening of food, fellowship, live music, information tables, games, etc. for such a large crowd. Last week, in the midst of assisting council members and other student leaders in getting things ready, I found myself standing stock still for a moment in the middle of the narthex. I do not stand still much at St. Peter’s, but I had become quite struck by something.
I was experiencing Catholic campus ministry at its best. We have recently come out of the calm and relative emptiness that summer creates in campus ministry. Now, here we were just 3 days into the new school year and St. Peter’s was buzzing! We had just enjoyed our Wednesday “Feast and Fellowship” meal following our 12:15 Mass and had now turned our attention to the arrival of the Dr. Pepper truck and the Reddy Ice trailer (“Where were the long extension cords?!”). Tables were being arranged outside as leaders from organizations readied their materials at the copier in the conference room for distribution to incoming freshmen. (Ms. Debbie, where do we keep the pencils?) The cupcakes were coming out of the kitchen for the “Cupcake Walk”. Father Anthony was in a corner of the narthex in deep conversation with a man who had come in inquiring about becoming Catholic. In the Upper Room, students were being interviewed by a professional videographer for our new promotional video. The phone was ringing and the grill was heating up and the (Oh no, we didn’t buy chips! Can anyone run to Sam’s real quick?!) I even think it was about that time that a grandparent called in to see if her freshman grandson had found St. Peter’s on Sunday. (“Could someone at St. Peter’s reach out to him.?”) It wouldn’t be long before we began Adoration in the chapel at 5:30 and then on to the party outside for the night.
Yes, this was campus ministry at it’s best! Busy. Busy. Busy.
I just love being the “housemom” to this great big, wonderful, BUSY, and joyfully faith-filled family that is St. Peter’s! God bless our new school year. It is going to be a busy one!