Plans for World Youth Day are in the works! If you'd like to join the group of students and young professionals on this once-in-a-lifetime trip, check out the informational page by clicking on the image below and sign up today! Spots are limited!
In March, about 20 Newmanites headed over to Yakima, Washington on our annual Alternative Spring Break Trip for 6 days. Throughout the week, the students helped with two organizations, La Casa Hogar, and Volunteer Chore Services (VCS.) La Casa Hogar is an organization that serves migrant women in the community. There are English and computer classes available to the students, as well as childcare, and most importantly, a supportive and positive community for the women to grow together in. Among many different things, the students helped the women practice English, helped with the daycare, and participated in crafts with them. Some of the women who go through this program come back year after year, and form a bond with the students that come.
As for the weekly schedule, the students started their day off bright and early with daily mass and then split up into two groups. One group worked with the migrant women and the other group volunteered through Volunteer Chore Services, a program run by Catholic Community Services. VCS helps the elderly and disabled members of the community with chores and other assistance necessary to help them maintain their independence. In the afternoon, the entire group reconvened for lunch at La Casa Hogar and continued working with VCS. The students were able to help about 40 people with a variety of tasks anywhere from yard work to cleaning bathrooms.
Not only did the Spring Break trip give students a chance to serve as Christ served, they were also able to grow with the community and with each other. Throughout the week, after a hard day of work,, the students spent some evenings in fellowship visiting families of Newmanites for dinner.
Helping the elderly with their chores gave the students an opportunity to form relationships with those they served. There were some clients that students had met in past years whom they were able to revisit. Although there was a lot of work involved, it was still a very restful experience because it gave students a chance to share and receive joy.
On February 20th over 65 Newmanites headed to the Lakeview Christian Retreat Center in Auburn for the annual SEARCH retreat. The retreat this year, titled Chronicles of Search, was fashioned after C.S Lewis’ timeless biblical allegory “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Guided by the Peer Ministers, Bayli and a fantastic team of retreat leaders, the SEARCHers were led into the magical world of Narnia on a weekend long retreat intended to bring them to a better understanding of themselves, each other, and God.
SEARCH is one of the most interesting events that Newman holds because it is a well-kept secret. No one really knows what goes on at SEARCH except for people who have been on the retreat before, and you can only go one time because it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The impact of SEARCH is better felt when it is filled with wonderful surprises, although this does make it hard to describe in a public place such as this. What can be said is that SEARCH is powerful, life changing, and unforgettable. It is an important milestone in many participants’ faith lives, often handing them tools to better integrate God into their lives as busy college students. The undergraduates who participate in the SEARCH retreat are a part of the future of the Church and our faith. That’s why it is so beautiful that they are given an opportunity like SEARCH to grow more confident in that faith that they are handed to grow and transform with.
The Chronicles of Search 2015 was a success in many ways. We hope that this years’ group of fabulous SEARCHers will continue to be a part of Newman’s vibrant community, sharing in God’s love and the magic of SEARCH together for the rest of their undergraduate career, and into the future as well.
This past weekend, 24 of our Grad students and young adults ventured to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountain Range for winter hike and overnight stay. Though there wasn't enough snow for snowshoes, there was enough to play in! It was a beautiful weekend in the Pacific Northwest, and the hike gave us some breath taking views of the nature which God created. We hope to have another snowshoeing trip later this winter - stay tuned!
Veritas Undergraduate Ministry and Frassati Graduate Students and Young Adults came together last night to cohost a talk by Carl Olson, editor of the Catholic World Report. Carl may be from Eugene, but the Catholic Huskies had a good time listening to his journey to becoming Catholic, and learning how to discuss our faith with those who may be skeptical. A big thanks to Carl for speaking for us!
The 2nd annual young adult Christmas formal was a definitely a merry and bright night! Everyone dressed to the nines, and looked quite dapper. The evening featured two live bands, the first a string trio playing classical Christmas songs, and the second was a jazz band for swing dancing! We had around 175 young adults attend, and we partied on until midnight! If you missed the formal, but still want an opportunity to meet other undergrads, don't stress! You can come to U-District Young Adult Mass, followed by dinner, on January 4, 5:45PM at Blessed Sacrament; or you can come to Saturday Night Alive on January 17 (more info here).
(Photos courtesy of GlimmerGlassPhoto.com)
On Friday, Dec. 5th, the Newman Center held its annual Christmas Party, prepared and hosted by the Fellowship team! The Center was decked out in holiday cheer and was the perfect environment for an evening of fun. About 75 students attended, many of them donning their tackiest Christmas attire!
After enjoying a scrumptious ham dinner, party attendees participated in a "gingerbread" (graham crackers) house building competition. They built in teams of 6-8, with the winner taking home the grand prize of... candy!
Selected by popular vote, the winner of the competition was this impressive creation, the “Polar Express.”
Another friendly competition involved voting for the “Ugliest Sweater.” We had some great contenders, can you guess who won?
We are so glad that so many came out to this event! Not only was it a great time, it provided some respite from the stress of studying for finals!
Thank you to the Fellowship team and all volunteers for your preparation of this event!
This was our last undergrad event of the year, we're excited to see what next quarter brings!
Nov. 15-16 was the weekend of our first big retreat of the school year: Disconnect to Reconnect. The idea for the retreat was to disconnect from the stress of school and everyday life, and reconnect with God and our faith lives. The 6 peer ministers began planning this undergraduate retreat in August, so it was wonderful to see it finally come to life. There were about 40 students on the retreat, which was an intimate and good group. Three of the peer ministers, Mariam, Monica, and Andra, and Father Jordan gave talks. Then there were small group discussions and activities, all relating to the theme of Disconnect to Reconnect.
There’s something special about retreats. Sometimes in the busyness of college students’ lives, the connection to God is lost. Students get into a rut without even noticing it, and so it’s necessary to let God interrupt the mundane rhythm in a big way, in order to get back on track, and to reconnect with Him.
This undergrad retreat was just the way to do that for all the students that went. We are all thankful for the community that God has given us in the Newman Center – a community we can laugh with, a community we can grow with, and most importantly – a community that always brings us back to God. So thanks for a successful Undergraduate Retreat 2014! (Shout out to Tisa, Dan and Hiep for cooking delicious meals!!)
Last Thursday night Frassati put on a panel at the Newman Center to discuss women’s issues as people of the Body of Christ. The categories of questions were broad as this is the first event of this type we have put on but the panelists approached them with eloquence and grace. Some of the highlights were panelist insights on questions about labor issues, sexuality, and women in leadership. A good number of us attended, and the chapel was split pretty evenly between men and women. A heartfelt thank you to all of our brilliant, hard-working panelists (an artist, a lay Dominican/nurse, an executive of an architectural firm, a mom who left her doctoral studies in education to teach her kids, a UW lecturer in Chemistry, and our own Fr. Lukasz)! You have inspired us and enriched our conversations about these issues by sharing bits of your lives with us. Look forward to another lecture or panel next month!
On Friday, October 31st, over 50 students showed up for “A Spook-tacular Newman Halloween Party” hosted by the Fellowship Team. Decked out in scary, creative, and funny costumes alike, the students dined on some freaky foods including fried zombie eyeballs, spider eggs, and mummy hotdogs. Afterwards, they were ushered into the Siena Room to the haunted house for some scares. The rest of the night consisted of many more activities including a donut eating contest, costume contest, and a monster mash dance party!
A big thanks to the Fellowship team for putting on such a fun event, and to Brady Thompson and Josie Gardner for donating props for our haunted house!
Check out these pictures from our event (more will be uploaded to the facebook page soon):