A Time to Speak — Help connect your college-bound grad to the church

Karl Dolson

Chuck Lynch

With so many parish activities closed due to the coronavirus, some worry that a few Catholics might not come back to Mass and the sacraments after conditions return to normal. Likewise, many of us worry that after our students graduate from high school and go away to college, many could lose touch with their faith.

Studies show that when college students stay in touch with the church, they are more likely after college to continue attending Mass, to take on leadership roles in the church, and to consider religious vocations.

The Newman Connection is a national non-profit organization, a centralized referral system, and much more. It connects students with the Catholic campus ministry on or near their college (Catholic, public, or other), offering to unite them in prayer, and helping them to grow in their faith.

Studies show that only 15% of Catholic college freshman look for a campus ministry on their own, while 80% do not practice their faith during the college years. The Archdiocesan Office of Youth and Young Adults, as well as the Serra Club of Louisville, are partnering with the Newman Connection to change those statistics.

The Newman Institute, a tool of the Newman Connection, is a self-guided, online educational resource for anyone who is looking to learn about their Catholic faith. It answers the big questions like: Who am I? Why am I here? What am I doing? These online video courses, comprised of a series of classes, deliver Church teaching to help guide our students in figuring out these life issues and defend their faith when questioned by others.

Many Catholics are familiar with the Newman Centers, which have been on campuses for decades. The centers were named after St. John Newman long before he was canonized a saint. He was a convert to Catholicism, as well as a priest, theologian, philosopher, teacher, and cardinal in the church during the late 19th century. He was canonized Oct. 13, 2019.

In 2019 we turned in the names of over 1,300 high school seniors from our Archdiocese alone.

To make use of the Newman Connection, it’s as simple as this: Notify us of a college-bound student’s name and college (and the college’s city and state since a few colleges have similar names) and let us do the rest! We won’t need the student’s phone number or email address, though those are helpful. Catholic leaders on or near the campus will locate the student. Also, this applies even to students going to Catholic colleges since oftentimes students don’t disclose their church affiliation on the college application.

For more information, contact Karl Dolson at 636-0296, ext 1210, or kdolson@archlou.org, or Chuck Lynch 442-9302 or chucklynch4782@gmail.com.

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