A common tidbit pointed out to potential students about Mercyhurst University is the unique rarity that as a Catholic college, one can make their college experience as religious as they want to at Mercyhurst.
As a campus that welcomes people of all backgrounds, unlike other Christian colleges and universities, one is not forced to practice Catholicism or attend religious events.
Students from all faith traditions are supported and developed in both service and justice. For those who do want to continue to practice their faith or show interest in getting to know more about the Catholic faith, Campus Ministry is the place to be. With their doors always open, Campus Ministry, also referred to as Cam-pus Min, holds and hosts several events throughout the week for students to further explore and develop their faith.
The goal of Campus Ministry is to create a hospitable environment with a focus on spiritual development for the entire campus as well as grounding in the Catholic tradition and Mercy heritage, which derives from the founders of the school, the sisters of Mercy.
Campus Ministry hosts a plethora of programs and events week-ly such as Tuesday Night Catholic Devotions, Wednesday Night Fellowship, Thursday Night Bible Study, MYRACLE, Women’s Book Club, Sip’n Stitch, as well as other retreats and opportunities. One retreat Campus Ministry is most famous for is their Carpe Diem retreat, which is typically offered twice a year and is open to students of any and no faith backgrounds.
“Right now, we are in the midst of our Busy Person’s Retreat, where students meet individu-ally with campus ministers for a handful of times for intentional conversation and reflection,” said Campus Minister Michelle Scully.
Later in this semester, Campus Ministry is set to hold their Advent Art Journaling, which is a time for students to stop in, relax, meditate and pray through art. No experience or art skills are required. Other exciting events slated for the spring semester are the silent retreat, Live the Third retreat, Jubilee Conference, and Carpe Diem Retreat which will take place around Mar. 25-27.
“One event that always had a great impact on students’ expe-rience on campus is the Carpe Diem retreat that is held once a semester,” said senior Athletic Training major, Lydia Zurinsky.
She is one student who has furthered her faith and found community in Campus Ministry throughout her time at Mercyhurst. Zurinsky helped to run the Wednesday Night Fellowship (WNF) program during her sophomore year where people from all faith backgrounds meet to have fellowship together. “We tend to have a theme each year that the weekly events are based around,” said Zurinsky, “this year’s theme is ‘Be ____’ and then we fill in the blank each week.
Last week was ‘Be Grateful.’”Zurinsky is now in charge of running the weekly Women’s Book Club, which consists of a group of women who meet weekly to discuss contemporary Christian books. Although she is not in charge of the program, she helped to create Sip’n Stitch, also known as the Knitting and Crocheting Group.
Open to all students, those who attend are provided with instructions and materials to learn and craft with other people who share similar skills such as knitting, crocheting and embroidery. Although it can seem intimidating for outsiders to join many of the Campus Ministry tight-knit groups, all are welcome. “My best piece of advice would be to not be afraid to just walk into the lounge or attend an event or come talk to any of the staff,” said Zurinsky.
To get involved, one can either walk through the doors of Campus Ministry, which is located on the first floor of the Student Union or fill out the Campus Ministry Interest form which can be found on their HUB page. “You might be surprised what you like or how the staff may be able to assist you with a struggle or problem or even just [give] some advice about life. It was probably one of my best decisions freshman year to walk into the lounge even though I was nervous and joined some of the groups. I have found some life-long friends from Campus Min with two of them asking me to be a bridesmaid in their weddings over the summer,” said Zurinsky.
Alternatively, one can also reach out to any of the Campus Ministry staff members for more information. The easiest ways to stay up to date on Campus Ministry and its activities are to check their weekly e-bulletin that all students should receive on Tuesdays as well as following their Instagram @hurstcampusmin.