The Campus Catholics at UWG has held its services and events at Kennedy Chapel on campus for over a decade. Recently they added a second facility right across from the east side of campus known as the Campus Catholic Center. The dedication ceremony was held Saturday, Oct. 3. to commemorate all the hard work and dedication that went into getting the building finalized.
“I think the Catholic center is important to the university because it’s just another way we can serve our students and support them in their journey while they are away from home,” said Director of Ministry at UWG, Norma Rothshadl. “It was an area that was not being served as robustly. We have served students at UWG for over 50 years, but now we have a place where they can come to find support, have the opportunity to pray and be in fellowship with students.”
The center was created for students to be able to have what Rothschadl calls a “home.” It is a place where they can feel safe, whether they are religious or not. Rothschadl also wants it to be a place where students are able to speak and interact with others who are not only there for them physically, but in all aspects of life.
“We have noticed a lot that our students have experienced anxiety and stress magnified by our current situation,” said Rothshadl. “Staying home even I think makes it more difficult, so we are glad to be here as a support to our students.”
Because the pandemic is on-going and the house is not that big in size, the process to get it all in order has proven to be more complicated than it would be in normal circumstances. However, despite the challenges of opening the facility, the Campus Catholics still plan to hold its services while keeping all COVID-19 guidelines in place in order to keep current and future students safe.
“We have all the typical protocols being used, even by the campus,” said Rothshadl. “So facemasks are required inside, and we are using hand sanitizer on every other table inside.
The facility holds many events on a weekly basis such as fundraisers for the Pregnancy Resource Center, Bible studies and annual services. When hosting these events, the facility makes sure to enforce COVID-19 guidelines and other safety precautions. Its main priority is keeping the students healthy while also providing opportunities for them to be involved in the campus ministry.
“We have opportunities for prayer, for church service and for the celebration of Mass,” said Rothshadl. “We have right now a women’s ministry, a men’s ministry and Bible studies. But we also offer a lot of social activities.”
The Campus Catholics are eager to start this journey of being able to serve students in a new way. Providing a home for them is just one step. Now the organization can move forward with its goal of being a blessing to everyone who walks through the doors of the facility.
“Regardless of the number of Catholics I think we should just serve the student body as a whole,” said Associate Director of Campus and Young Adult Ministries, Allen Austin. “If there are 100,000 Catholics or there is one Catholic, we should still be on campus trying to reach students.”