by Mary Sue Callan-Farley, Director of Campus Ministry
Pax et Bonum, or "Peace and Goodness," to our readership and all who are connected in any way to campus ministry. This phrase of greeting and prayer are attributed to St. Francis of Assisi and is found tiled above the doorways of many homes in Assisi, Italy.
As the tidal wave of news about COVID 19 has grown higher and stronger, I have read a number of inspirational messages over the last week, which have strengthened me, given me perspective, opened me to graces that are present, because God is truly present in all things. I share with most people the discomfort, anxiety, and loss that isolation at home and uncertainty across the world bring. St. Francis certainly knew suffering and I imagine powerlessness, not knowing what life would bring on his unusual path to make God's love known to the world.
When I sat to write these few words of welcome and to convey the prayers of campus ministry for you and the world, these simple borrowed words Pax et Bonum fell onto the page as consoling treasures. I invite you to meditate on this greeting. These words remind me of the work we are compelled to do by the Gospel and the attitude of Christ to which we witness even in times of turmoil.
The words also remind me that God's will for us is peace and goodness founded in Jesus's love and compassion. Let us continue to care for one another, even at a safe distance. Let us look out for those who most suffer, be innovative toward this end. Let us examine our conscience as we purchase necessities. Let us forgive one another as we respond imperfectly in this crisis.
Let us ask the saints and souls of heaven, especially those who faced trauma and suffering, to assure us. Let us reach out to people of all faiths and good will to ground hope in our everyday circumstances. Let us give gratitude for those who care for people struck by COVID 19. Let us pray unceasingly knowing that God holds each one of us as precious and good.
Pax et Bonum,
All are welcome to attend Mass via live streaming this week, courtesy of Mission & Ministry:
Engaging in Community and Relationships with M.A.P.
By Bianca Garcia, M.A.P. Student Director & Arts & Sciences '20
Bianca was one of 62 students who traveled to 11 different United States cities over spring break with the Marquette Action Program (M.A.P.), which explores the topics of social justice, service and community while engaging with those around them.
I have been moved by the idea of community while participating in M.A.P. Most recently, going to a homeless shelter in Kansas City, MO taught me the meaning of community. Kitchen staff that was once made up of eight people, was now working with four only. There was a set routine for eight for their day-to-day operations. Luckily, they weren’t apprehensive to let my group of Lauren Pfeifer '23, Renee Seguban '21 and myself, in to help in any way we could. We were happy to relieve them to give them a mental break of not having to worry what’s next.
By the end of the week, there was no longer a group of 4 kitchen workers but now 7, as my M.A.P. group felt a part of the team. A highlight of the trip to Kansas City is the ability to reach out to alumni who generously take the group to dinner almost every night. Getting to hear their stories from their time at Marquette and about their lives since, was really inspirational and intriguing. It was encouraging to see that the alumni hold Marquette near and dear to their hearts, which is why they continue to serve in this supportive role for M.A.P. year after year. Listening to them truly showed me that even after 5 or 15 years out of Marquette, they still cherish being a part of the Marquette community. I realized that being a part of the greater Marquette community is what we all had in common.
Faith can be put into service not only in a religious aspect, but in a spiritual way as well. Faith in a religious context could be seen as “doing God’s work” but, faith in a spiritual aspect, I think, is to put forth your best effort all the time and truly engage with people. This can be done by listening to stories in a variety of places - whether it be in a service setting, a work setting, or even exploring a new place.
I can say, 100 percent, that the person I was before my first M.A.P. trip freshman year and the person I am today are not the same person. When I am an alumna of Marquette and look back at my time in college, I will be able to tell stories 10, 20 years down the line. I will share my M.A.P. trips because they have been something I would like to cherish and share for years to come. To me, that shows how meaningful M.A.P. is. I know that I am not alone in feeling that M.A.P. has changed me, and that is a gift that I and the other participants can treasure for years to come.
[ Photos | Above: From back to front: Renee Seguban '21, Lauren Pfeifer '23 and Bianca Garcia '20 cleaning up the kitchen in Kansas City. Below: A peek into some of the other M.A.P. site adventures from spring break 2020. ]