Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vassar Students on the Spiritual Path

What a privilege it was to offer spiritual direction to students of the Catholic Community of Vassar College! Was I ever impressed by them and their advisor, campus minister Linda Tuttle. Just two weeks into the fall semester freshmen to seniors, male and female, from so many different countries and cultures that I lost count, committed themselves to a three-day "busy person's" retreat. This was an opportunity to discuss family, faith, life, meaning, and vocational commitment with two contemplative nuns, one sister from an active congregation and two diocesan priests assigned to a variety of campus and seminary ministries. From the gathering of campus faith organizations (called a "bounce" because students and guests can go from table to table - bounce around - checking out each group, the faith it represents and what they have to offer to students) Friday evening to Mass on Sunday afternoon celebrated with the young people by Fr. Richard Lamorte, students consistently expressed their conscious journey with God - a journey maintained in spite of busy schedules, impressive academic programs and goals as well as study and travel abroad.

Vassar College Chapel

Linda Tuttle and Alyssa Pabalan

Katrina (senior and president of Vassar Catholic Community)and friends preparing scripture readings for Mass

Fortunately our monastery is less than a half hour away from the beautiful Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie. The nature of the retreat made it possible for me to spend just a few hours a day at the school from Friday to Sunday. Over and over again the invitation was issued for students and staff to come to our monastery to share prayer, to get input on some spiritual topic or just to experience the monastic way. Since we have four fine colleges within easy commute of our monastery we have been working on developing relationships with students and professors. We hope that we see some Vassar students at our door in the near future.

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