Letter From the Pastor – December 9

Dear Friends,

The Fall Semester is rapidly winding down and our students are involved in their final exams and projects. We wish our students safe travel and a restful break. The rhythm of Newman life is unique. It might seem that the break between the semester would be a time for a big break at Newman, but the student community leaves just in time for preparations for Christmas to begin in earnest. So, we remain busy until Christmas. The period between Christmas and the new semester will provide some opportunity for break and rest for our staff. As for now, let us enter fully into the Advent Season preparing in our hearts and homes an appropriate place to receive the Lord.

Something new for this semester – I have really enjoyed this year’s football season more than the other 8 since I moved here. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoy football. But this year I have had a new connection with the football team as I have celebrated Mass for the Catholics on the team before home games and helped provide celebrants for their Masses when they are on the road. There were about a dozen players and coaches who participated in these Masses. The atmosphere is always very intense just a few hours before they take the field. That intensity creates its own kind of piety and reverence that is great. Most importantly, this service has created a direct connection between the Center and these young men and it is great to see them as they show up at the Center for Masses as well. For me personally, it also means that I have experienced this year’s victories and defeats much more personally. At the UA/ASU game I found myself saying “that’s one of our boys” every time one of their names was spoken by the announcer. I am proud of the Wildcats for what has been a great season. The successes of this year portend well for the future. I will be headed up to Albuquerque next weekend to celebrate Mass for the team before the New Mexico Bowl and to attend the game itself. I appreciate your prayers for safe travel and for our team’s well being.

I would like to say a special thank you to our student community, especially to those on our Campus Ministry Leadership Teams for a great semester. Blessings for a great Winter Break. We will see you in January.