Tertiary students discuss campus ministry issues over tea and snacks
The dialogue session was called “Teh-O-logy”, and it was what Living Stones Campus Outreach (LSCO) organised to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
LSCO said “Teh-O-logy”, a light-hearted reference to the local coffee-shop beverage, was inspired by the American Catholic concept of Theology on Tap, in which young people discuss faith issues over a beer in a relaxed pub setting.
LSCO, which aims to provide spiritual formation to tertiary-level students, invited Catholic students from local universities and polytechnics to discuss the issues facing them and how campus ministries can help deepen their faith.
Close to 60 campus ministry leaders from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore Institute of Management, and Singapore and Ngee Ann polytechnics, together with LSCO members, brainstormed various issues over tea and snacks at the Church of St Bernadette.
Campus ministry is “more than just an ECA for which my poly awards points”, one participants shared during the Sept 29 event. “It is where I have experienced the ‘realness’ of God.”
Another student said, “Studies-wise, we are at undergraduate level. But faith-wise, we are still at Sec 3. We need to level-up and mature in our faith and service!”
Students also said they see campus ministry as a way of getting to know other young Catholics from different backgrounds.
Serving in campus ministries also has its share of challenges, participants noted. At a time in their lives when there are many priorities competing for attention, students shared that they needed constantly to discern God’s will and draw strength from Him to avoid burnout in ministry.
Another concern was that of leadership succession, given the short three or four years that students spend on campus.
The dialogue session concluded with a Mass celebrated by Jesuit Fr Christopher Soh, chaplain for the NTU Catholic Students Apostolate (CSA).
In his homily, he challenged participants to make outreach the central focus of their ministries – to make Christ known on campus.
LSCO coordinator Irving Teo told CatholicNews that his group decided to create “a casual setting” to help students “share their thoughts and ideas”.
“Campus life is that important transition stage where students need to encounter Christ...and make a difference in their workplaces upon graduation,” he added.
The group said it will continue to work closely with campus ministries and their chaplains to discern future directions.
For more information on LSCO, visit www.livingstones-online.org