Standing On The Threshold Of Change
It is May 1st as I am driving from my home in New Harmony to work at the University of Southern Indiana. I am looking out on farm fields being made ready for the growing season. Much preparation is needed – getting the equipment in working condition, making sure the field, grain orders and fertilizers are all in good measure and having the proper weather to begin the planting. What an optimistic time of year. We are so fortunate to have the promise of another growing season.
This is a moment where we stand on the threshold of change. At USI, we are in the midst of final testing for the semester; graduation has taken place, and students are moving back home for the summer. We celebrated our seniors and look forward to their successes as they move on from this place.
Our Newman Catholic Community continues to welcome incoming students as our next year’s freshmen have already been signed up for classes to begin in the Fall of 2018. We are, as a mentor used to say, in a liminal moment; a moment that has us reflecting on where we have been and anticipating where we are going.
Today we stand in the doorway of one season and look to the upcoming opportunities that God will provide in the next season. Much like the farmer in the field, we have readied our efforts in preparation for the upcoming new arrivals. The Newman Catholic Community of students has held elections, selected small group leaders and are busy planning for the Fall Semester.
We anticipate a new group of students ready to work on service projects, pray with us and get to know themselves and their Catholic faith on a deeper level. Over the summer, our Newman Catholic Community will be working to schedule priests for our 4 p.m. Sunday Masses, which will begin in the Fall. We will be planning retreats, meeting with Social Service agencies to schedule our service projects and continuing to work freshman orientations throughout the summer.
This school year, we will have 12 college students trained to lead small group discussions throughout the year; we will continue to have weekly Sunday Mass and Wednesday night meetings followed by Adoration and an opportunity for Confession. Once a month, we partake in service projects that have included opportunities around the community to work with Seton Harvest, Ronald McDonald House, the Daughters of Charity, a local nursing home and spring break mission trips.
Our planting the seeds of a successful year have begun, and we ask that you remember our efforts in your prayers. Over the next year, it is our hope to have students from the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana write their own stories and views of life on campus – in their own words, sharing how they make their way from one season to the next. In sharing our stories, may you come to know more fully the gifts that God has given us and the gifts our students share with the community.
Christine Hoehn is director of the Newman Center at the University of Southern Indiana.