Author: Robin Black-Rubenstein
The Monday after Thanksgiving break it was bitter cold windy and light snow on the ground. Outside it seemed especially cold but as I walked into my office at the Dome on SIUe campus I felt a sense of warm joy in my heart. It seemed every place I went on campus I was reminded of the one thing that I can’t get off my mind. I am so grateful to be here at SIUe Newman Catholic Community in this ministry.
Sunday night during the 8 pm Mass our musician sang Hosanna, by Hillsong United. In the second verse these words stood out, “I see a generation, rising up to take their place, with selfless faith.” I feel so blessed to be a witness to the faith, leadership, love, and kindness that is being shared here at the Newman Catholic Community. This semester I have witnessed students in prayerful Adoration before the Eucharist waiting for their turn to go to reconciliation. I see them at Newman Nights, Mass, and social events welcoming everyone who comes in the door. They share meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner whenever they are able. Impromptu events and moments are the norm, like playing volleyball together, singing at the piano, serving the community at NCC, and outside of here, learning more and sharing their faith with each other, and stepping up when Sean, Fr. Rob, or I have needed help. There are also the planned moments like small prayer groups, guys and girls’ nights, Saints n Suds, and holiday themed nights out. What stands out in all the activity at NCC is the self-giving friendship and love that is present in this community. There is a sense of freedom where students can be themselves and hold nothing back in the practice and questions of their faith. In writing about Divine love and St. Francis, Richard Rohr said, “I want to love back the way I have been loved. But it’s not like I’ve got to prove my love for God by doing things. My job is simply to complete the circuit.” That is what I see happening at NCC, the community here is completing the circuit of love. We are only half way through the academic year and I know they will continue to rise up and take their place as a generation filled with faith, hope, and love.