Editor’s Note: This story was written by Maggie Heuer for COM301 Advanced Newswriting.
Campus Ministry has a new director, Sister Mary Elizabeth Ann McCullough, RSM, who shared her excitement for working with students, her vision for Campus Ministry, and a sneak peek of upcoming events.
McCullough started her position in mid-June. Prior to this position, she worked in education. She has taught all grade levels from kindergarten through early high school and worked with college interns in Michigan State University’s education department. Most recently she was the director of Religious Education at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic School in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
She said she is excited to take on a new role as director of Campus Ministry for the very first time. In this position, she oversees Campus Ministry activities, organizes campus faith formation, and is responsible for the liturgies at St. Thomas More Chapel on campus. She is also the advisor for multiple clubs, such as SOUL, Buddies, Culture of Life, and Deprecor.
McCullough loves working with the students she has met on campus and said she has been very impressed by them and how capable they are of running activities and events.
She loves being around young people in an environment “where the focus of everything we do is oriented toward God.” One of her favorite parts of working in Campus Ministry is that she can help bring people closer to Him. “And I can’t think of a better job than that.”
She recognizes the difficulties that come with new staffing. Change is hard, she said, but she is ready to face the challenge of helping students with the transition from the old to the new Campus Ministry. She is here for students “to offer something new while being sensitive to the difficulties that change brings.”
Her vision for Campus Ministry is to bring faith to life. Her vision is two-fold, she said. She wants to help the faith that is born through baptism to flourish, and she wants to help the campus community learn how to integrate their faith into every aspect of their lives.
One of Campus Ministry’s upcoming events that she is helping organize is a competition to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s death. The winning team or individual will receive a prize of $300. Participants must attempt to present Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s life, or part of it, and they may do so through any medium they would like (e.g. drama, music, art, computer technology, etc.).
This competition will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Science and Learning Center auditorium and will be judged by the Christian Brothers. All students are welcome to enter. Teams are encouraged.
There will also be a Blessed James Miller day on Dec. 7 to celebrate the day he will be beatified.
McCullough is also looking forward to having Campus Ministry host special events periodically throughout the year, such as hiking trips, cross country skiing, and kayaking.
She would like the campus community to know that everyone is very welcome in Campus Ministry, and that she is always open to suggestions to help build the work they do. She encourages everyone to get involved. It is a great opportunity to nourish the soul through prayer, education, and the support and encouragement of other students, she said. It is also a wonderful place to be a part of a fine group of young people.
She emphasized that Catholics and non-Catholics alike are welcome. “We try to offer something for everyone,” she said. Campus Ministry offers Adoration, Confession, devotions, activities, and more. “We want to provide whatever students need so that they can reach their ultimate goal, which is to get to heaven.”
McCullough is excited to develop relationships with the campus students and faculty and is ready to “ignite campus” with faith, life, and spirit.