Help graduates connect to a church in college

By Karl Dolson and Chuck Lynch

Are you a member of the high school graduating Class of 2021, or is one of your children or grandchildren graduating this year?

Congratulations! Many in our community are proud of your accomplishment of this important milestone in your life including parents, family, friends, teachers, administrators… and your pastor, parish staff, fellow parishioners, and the whole Catholic Church!

As you head off to continue your education in college or start your career, it is critical that your Catholic faith travel and grow with you. Please don’t leave it at home packed away with your grade school and high school mementos but take it with you and make it your own, unpacking it and exploring its depths and richness. There are many distractions in college and life, but that makes it even more essential to make a determined choice to go to Mass, receive the nourishment of the Eucharist, and deepen your faith alongside growing in your studies and career.

If you — or your child or grandchild — are heading off to college, studies have shown only 15% of Catholic college freshmen seek out a campus ministry on their own, and nearly 80% of those who leave the faith do so in college. However, there is a great way to counter those statistics!

There is a terrific resource to help college students stay engaged in their Catholic faith called the Newman Connection (https://newmanconnection.com). Part of the larger Newman Ministry, it is a national non-profit organization, a centralized referral system, and a way to unite college students in prayer, connect them to a Catholic community, and help them to continue nourishing and living out their faith.

The Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Youth and Young Adults and the Serra Club of Louisville have again partnered with the Newman Connection to help high school graduates connect directly to the Catholic campus ministry or a local parish on or near any of more than 2,500 college campuses (Catholic, public, and other) nationwide.
Starting this effort with 71 students in 2014, over 5,300 of our high school Catholic graduates have been submitted from our Archdiocese, including more than 1,400 in 2020! But we can do even better.

The primary way to use the Newman Connection is for high school graduates to download the new “Newman Connect” app onto their phone (in the Apple App Store and Google Play), select their college, and be connected directly to the Catholic campus minister there. Another way is to notify us of a college-bound student’s name and college (including the college’s city and state since several colleges have similar names) and let us do the rest! This also applies to students going to Catholic colleges.

Additionally, there will be a drawing for a $500 college scholarship from among those whose information is submitted (student’s email and cell phone are required to be eligible).

For more information or to submit names, please contact Karl Dolson at (502) 636-0296 x1210, KDolson@archlou.org, or Chuck Lynch, at (502) 442-9302, ChuckLynch4782@gmail.com.

Karl Dolson is the director of the Office of Youth and Young Adults in the Archdiocese of Louisville and Chuck Lynch is the vice president for communications for the Serra Club of Louisville.

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2 replies on “Help graduates connect to a church in college”
  1. says: Matt

    GREAT article! For some reason the links in this story aren’t working, looks like there may be a space.

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