Incoming college students can greatly ease the transition from their native parishes to campus-ministry settings by acquiring advance information, according to Shannon Loughlin.
“Think about it before arriving on campus. That’s always helpful,” said Loughlin, who oversees campus ministry in her role as associate director for the diocesan Department of Pastoral Services.
Loughlin suggested finding details about Catholic campus ministry on a college’s website, and/or by contacting the Catholic chaplain if the college has one. This research will help students arrive at school knowing where and when to find Masses as well as the spiritual, social and service options available through campus ministry. She noted that the Catholic contacts for colleges in the Diocese of Rochester are listed at www.dor.org/index.cfm/pastoral-services/campuses.
Whereas numerous area colleges have active on-campus Catholic presences, there also are several that do not, Loughlin noted. In the latter case, she said, the local Catholic parish — usually within walking distance or a short ride from the college — is designated as the college’s worship site and its pastor is the chief contact for students.
Loughlin encourages weekly Mass attendance by college students — as well as for them to invite others along — saying such actions are especially fitting in this Year of the Eucharist. She noted that Bishop Salvatore Matano, in his pastoral letter announcing the special year, calls for a renewed focus on the Sunday Mass obligation.
Loughlin added that she’s happy to assist anybody in finding available options for worship at any college, either in this diocese or elsewhere. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.