“Immaculata University’s Campus Ministry is a spiritual home for all students.” 

Athena Kritikson ’26, Staff Writer

Father Royce Thomas, Campus Chaplain, explains Immaculata’s Campus Ministry’s mission by stating, “It means that there is a space for the Immaculata community to fellowship, build community and have their spiritual needs met.” Sister Laura Downing, Director of Campus Ministry, adds on to this by explaining how it’s a “community of people that are trying to grow in their relationship with God and each other.” This goes to show that this community is built to be a healthy and welcoming environment for students. Kathryn DeHaven ‘24, goes on to explain “What this mission means to me is that I will always have a safe and loving community to call home at Immaculata.” DeHaven also added, “…it has given me the opportunity to become fully immersed in my faith and strengthen my relationship with God.”

Photo creds: Athena Kritikson ‘26

As said in the mission, this is a community for the students as there are many events that happen throughout the week to engage the students in their faith in unity with other students. Christopher Watson ‘26, explained “My favorite part of Campus Ministry is the welcoming environment that includes many different events to allow me and other students to get involved with their faith.” Louis Faia ‘24, and DeHaven both expressed that their favorite part of Campus Ministry is how welcomed they feel by the students and the leadership team. Feeling welcomed is something everyone wants to feel as well as being free from any judgment. Gerard Faia ‘24, states, “My favorite part about Campus Ministry would definitely be the community aspect, the comfort of Campus Ministry, and the ability to be myself and grow in my faith without fear of judgment.” Between the students and the leadership board the feeling seems to be mutual as the people involved in Campus Ministry allow you to be who you want to be with no limits. As Amanda Bielat, Assistant Director of Campus Minister, states, “ I love seeing students accomplish their goals- big and small- like passing that important test they’ve been studying for, or seeing success in all the work they put into planning for a service trip or a talk on a retreat, or a victory in a sport.” Sister Laura also explains one of her favorite parts is being able to watch students grow.

The environment of Campus Ministry is not only uplifting and encouraging, but also fun! Campus Ministry has many events throughout the week. Starting with Tuesday night Community Night, Wednesday night Movie Night, Thursday night Holy Hour Outreach, services offered every afternoon, along with many more events that happen throughout the year! One that is coming up and everyone should look forward to is Sisters vs. Students Kickball. There is also a Kairos Retreat! There’s also quite a few Service Tips, which Bielat chooses as her favorite event, “I relish any opportunity to serve with students, but I love the entire process of a service trip” and explains how “It all builds this small community and new friendships and relationships are formed.” G. Faia, states that his favorite Campus Ministry event is, “I would say I love going to Community Night the most because again the community aspect about Campus Ministry is one of its best attributes.” Father Royce also chooses Community Night as his favorite event because, “The community spirit is life-giving and each week the energy and participation is something I look forward to.” Watson also explains how his favorite event is Community Night as “..not only is there a great environment, there’s also pasta!” In addition to Sister Laura also loving Community Night. Based on these choices, I would say Community Night is a popular choice and something everyone should try! 

Photo creds: Athena Kritikson ‘26

As time goes on, Campus Ministry continues to grow. Sister Laura states, “For all IU students to know that they are welcome in Campus Ministry, not just people that they think are “holy.” Campus Ministry is for all students: Catholic, non-Catholic, non-Christian, Agnostic, etc.” In addition, Father Royce explains that he hopes to see, “Engaging more students and offering more interreligious activities and dialogue.” Other students also shared their input on the future as G. Faia hopes to see more retreats, DeHaven would want to see campus ministry reaching out or partnering with other Catholic universities in the area and potentially do group activities together with those universities’ campus ministry groups and L. Faia hopes to see more game nights (which can be known to get very intense). For all these things to happen Campus Ministry must continue to grow and that starts with you. We are all the future of Campus Ministry, together, as one team. 

“I want students to know that if there is even one tiny little part of them that is interested or curious in Campus Ministry that they should definitely stop by. There is always something happening around here, even if it is only a bunch of students hanging out doing homework,” states Sister Laura. The Campus Ministry Team continues to hold the door open for anyone who is looking for a welcoming place on campus, new friends, or an environment to simply just do homework. 

As stated from students and staff,  this environment is truly welcome and open for anyone to join despite where they are at in their journey. Being in an environment where you are able to be free of judgment and surrounded by people who genuinely enjoy watching you grow, is an environment that will truly help you flourish.If you are interested in joining Campus Ministry stop by anytime Monday-Friday 8:30 am- 9:00 pm or email: Ldowning1@Immaculata.edu.

Photo creds: Kathryn DeHaven ‘24