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Campus centers support students at critical time

The St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas in Lawrence works to keep young people involved in the faith as they leave their home for the first time.

The St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas in Lawrence works to keep young people involved in the faith as they leave their home for the first time.

Evangelization — announcing the Gospel of Jesus Christ — lies at the heart of the church’s mission. Believers everywhere are called to share the good news with those they meet. This can be difficult, especially on a college campus.

“The challenge we face is to bring God into a highly secular campus,” said Father Steve Beseau, director of the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas. “One of the most serious forms of poverty is an absence of God — those who have this void in their lives miss the fullest understanding of love.”

Funded by the Archbishop’s Call to Share, the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center responds to this challenge in a very simple way.

“We work to create ‘entry points’ to get students interested and ‘passion points’ to keep them engaged,” said Father Beseau. “It’s amazing to see students drawn more closely to Jesus because of the faith and friendships they develop at the Catholic campus center.”

Students start to thrive in Bible study groups and retreats. Choir, intramural sports and ongoing evangelization activities are true signs of a spiritual awakening for many students. Recognized as a model of campus ministry in the United States, the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center seeks to accomplish three primary goals: foster prayer and participation in the liturgical life of the church; serve others by working for positive change; and foster lasting, life-giving friendships.

Father Beseau recognizes the importance of ongoing education in the faith, especially during a person’s college years.

“If Catholic education stops in eighth grade or even in high school, a person’s understanding of the faith can wither just as he or she is making the most important life decisions,” said Father Beseau.

The Archbishop’s Call to Share helps support the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center and the many other ministries that serve our youth. A gift to the appeal — a simple act of love — will not be lost. It will offer young people an alternative to the pressing secular culture and help build up communities of faith on our college campuses.

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The Leaven

The Leaven is the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

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