This semester, campus ministry has been off to a great start, with the creation of the St. Martin de Porres Street Ministry, which focuses on outreach to the homeless. This ministry was developed out of the Fall and Spring Break mission trips with Christ in the City in Denver. After the mission trips, the students decided they wanted to do something similar in the Salt Lake City community. The way the ministry is set up is that every Friday about nine students and staff go to the main branch of the public library. They talk to people experiencing homelessness, and hand out snacks, handwarmers, and other necessities as well . This is a relational ministry which centers on providing for the emotional and spiritual needs of the poor. This type of ministry is important because there are a lot of services that provide for the material needs of the poor, but few strive to alleviate the loneliness and need for love that the people on the streets experience. The group tries to emulate St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican Saint who cared for the sick and poor in Lima, Peru. St. Martin was aware of the plight of the poor, and was able to see Christ in them. In our street ministry, we try to encounter Jesus in the people on the streets, and bring His love to those who are often ignored and forgotten by society. After leaving the library, we talk about who we encountered, where we saw God, and the joys and challenges related to the experience.
We are also sponsoring every week Tuesday afternoon Adoration from 1:00pm-5:30pm. This gives students and other members of the community the opportunity to experience the love and mercy of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It’s challenging to develop a life of prayer in today’s busy world. By encouraging students to sign up for a holy half-hour, we hope that they are able to make their relationship with God a priority in their life.
Campus ministry has also continued its weekly undergrad night. This semester we have invited parishioners to be guest speakers and panelists. Paul White, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University, talked to the students about the Catholic response to prejudice and racism. Rebecca Curran, a doctor, spoke about pro-life issues in conjunction with the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. There was also a panel on healthy relationships featuring Trevor and Rachel Woods, and Angela and Richard Green. We are grateful for the shared wisdom of the permanent community and their willingness to share the beauty of the Catholic faith with the students.
Looking forward, we are excited to be preparing for a Spring Break road trip and pilgrimage to the mission churches in California, a camping retreat in Capitol Reef, and a trip to Central Europe in the summer.
Snowshoeing in Millcreek Canyon
At Windrider Forum, a Christian filmmakers seminar and movie festival at Sundance
Undergrad night bioethics conversation with Rebecca Curran, PhD MD
Undergrad night on relationships