SURVIVING the grind at university can be a tough ask, but weíve asked some leading lights in Catholic university ministry and education to provide a few tips about faith at university.
Here they are:
Joanna Howe, senior law lecturer at Adelaide University:
“Being at university is a wonderful privilege as it affords time for self-discovery and exploration of ideas. But this can be challenging on many levels, and particularly to one’s faith. Take solace in good friendships, find peace through prayer and be inspired by reading the lives of the saints. Never again will you have so much time to pursue truth and explore who you are, so enjoy it and make the most of it.”
Edsel Parke, student and Newman Catholic Society member at the University of Queensland:
“The Catholic Church practically invented higher education, so you should never feel like you’re out of place at uni. A good first step is to seek out your campus’ chaplaincy centre or Catholic students’ society.”
Robert Schroeders, director of Freedom Catholic Mission on Campus:
“Get connected. University is a great time of learning and connectivity. Learn more about God and the people of faith and the Church. Find a mentor, someone who can help you through the challenge of what university can sometimes be.”
Mark Lysaght, associate director of campus ministry, Australian Catholic University:
“At uni you are there to ‘break a mental sweat’ and learn so as to contribute to society in your area of study. Also you’ll make new relationships that will last a lifetime, be good to each other – you never know when you might need them. And you will grow spiritually, in particular make time for God and build your faith life as you ask the bigger questions of life – this can be a game changer in purpose and direction. Don’t be shy – have a go at everything you can and get involved on your campus – there are so many things to add to your CV if you only but give them a try.”
Christian Ellis, Australian Catholic Student Association president, Sydney:
“University is a time in your life where you learn more about the world and about yourself. It is important to both engross yourself in all sorts of activities and groups whilst also maintaining a strong network of Catholic friends to help with the most important aspect of your life – to develop your faith.
“University students are thirsting for knowledge, truth and fulfillment which means there is no better time to communicate the truthful, intellectual and fulfilling message of Christ and his Church to those who haven’t heard it.
“At university we ensure our spiritual, intellectual and social development and the only way to do this is to put ourselves out there, converse with as many people as possible and to, on many occasions, push past our comfort zones.
“Never under-estimate how important university is to your journey in faith.
“After all, Jesus’ ministry was preceded by the simple yet essential learnings as a carpenter.
“He did this work with his father, St Joseph, the patron saint of workers and protector of the Church.”
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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