What is Catholic Campus Ministry?
College Life & Catholic Ministry
College is a unique time in a person’s life where intellectual formation, independence, spiritual discernment, and self-discovery intersect. It is at this critical time that Catholic campus ministry can offer students not only a home away from home, but also a community that fosters theological study, moral formation, spiritual direction, and fellowship with other young Catholics!
Campus Ministry and the Difference It Makes
In 2005, a study from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University asked the question: what difference if any does participation in campus ministry make to today’s students? The results revealed that students who participate in campus ministry are more likely than those who did not to:
- Attend Mass at least once a month
- Register in a parish
- Be “very involved” in parish or other religious activities
- Have read a Catholic newspaper, book, or magazine in the last year
- Express interest in studying religion or theology at the college-level
- Donate money to a Catholic parish or other organization in the last year
- Have considered serving the Church as a lay minister
- Have considered a religious vocation or would encourage others to discern.
The impact of campus ministry is undeniable! Former students surveyed who had participated in campus ministry also reported that helping the needy is “essential” to their faith and that their Catholic faith is “among the most important parts of their lives.”
This is How We Do It!
Here at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the Ragin’ Cajun Catholic Student Ministry provides students with opportunities to participate in the Sacramental life, authentic Catholic formation, sacrificial service, spiritual discernment, and Christian stewardship. Conveniently located next door to the Student Union, Our Lady of Wisdom Church and Catholic Student Center offers Mass and Confession 7 days a week in addition to a number of activities and student-led ministries:
- Fall Encounter Retreat
- Greek Retreat/Greek Night
- 501: weekly night of inspiring talks, praise and worship, and adoration
- Sunday Night Block Parties
- Weekly Bible studies (300 students currently in attendance!!)
- 24-hour Adoration Chapel
- Newman Lecture Series, featuring nationally-renowned speakers
- Guys’ and Girls’ Prayer Groups
- LOGOS (21+ ministry)
- Knights of Columbus, college chapter
- Book Studies
- Service Projects
- Visit the Elderly
- Pro-Life Events
- Foreign Mission Trips
- Vocational discernment groups
- Ask a Priest a Question
- Spiritual Direction
- Lunch with the Lord
- Cajun dancing
- & many more! (Check out the Get Involved page to learn more!)
Our commitment to evangelization and outreach led us to acquire FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. FOCUS was born out of a passion and zeal to share how a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith can transform the world. Since the Fall of 2011, FOCUS has sent UL teams of young, trained missionaries in order to reach even more students with the gospel. Through this partnership with the Ragin’ Cajun Catholics, FOCUS offers large group outreach events, weekly Bible studies, and one-on-one mentoring with student leaders.