Hello. I’m Chris Korte, and I am the Director here at the Catholic Newman Center. With Fr. Franklin, our Chaplain, and on behalf of our Newman Community, I want to say: Welcome.
Over the last several weeks, as Summer shifted into July and the countdown to the first day of classes, we have been looking forward to welcoming you here at Newman. And we have been praying for you.
It might sound funny, but I have a message for you… from Jesus… He said you would understand… or you will soon.
I’ve been waiting for you… I’ve been waiting for you, to come here, to this place… I’ve been waiting for you to come to this place in your life.
You have come here, with something. Maybe it is something you had hoped you could leave behind and start fresh. Maybe it is something with all the unknowns of your future. Whatever you are carrying… It is time. Bring it to Him. Whatever you are carrying… a question… a burden… a fear… Maybe you are not yet able to put it into words, out loud. Surrender it. Do not be afraid to give it to Him. Hope in Him. And here, in this place, in this community, you might find something you were looking for. Or maybe find something you didn’t know you were looking for. Jesus has something for you, that you are just now ready for.
There is something else He wants me to share with you:
The ones you care about… will set you free.
You might read this and sit there thinking: I don’t know these Newman people – how can I care about them? Who am I supposed to care about?
First: just care – pray for them – pray for the ones you have just met, or haven’t met yet. Pray, for their sake – we are all counting on each other to draw closer to Christ and rely on this network of believers.
Second: Get to know someone. It could feel stupid, or awkward. That is ok. Just start small conversation, here’s a great opening line for you: “Tell me about yourself.” You might be feeling like you are standing on the outside looking in. A lot of us feel that way at times. This is when you reach out a hand to someone else.
What if each of us checked on 4 people each week? Someone from home… a friend of ours… a neighbor… someone you don’t know or someone you have seen who needed a friend… “How are you doing? What can I do to help?” Imagine a campus where we care deeply for each other, and take care of each other in this way.
“The ones you care about will set you free.” Sometimes I didn’t even know that I was even stuck. The thing is, the people you get to know, are counting on you. And these people are the very ones that will be your strength and joy as well. When you choose to act, to care for someone else, you will find life. You will find yourself, only in relationship with others, and ultimately in relationship with God. So, give your time – listen to someone – you will discover something comes alive for you. We all need each other – these are the people God has given to you. And he has given you to be there for someone too.
Come to Newman through the week. Please, consider this your “official invitation”. Yes, you. Get to know people. Come be a part of a small group. Come to an activity with a friend. Volunteer to serve in some way. Fr. Franklin and I are here for you too. Email or text or call us. We would love to have some time to get to know you, time to talk… go for a walk… get coffee… just get to know you, and to pray for you.
You each come here with something. A toil. A hope. A gift. A dream coming true. Whatever it is. Bring it here. You’ll have a LOT to do and take care of during your first week at Truman – on campus, in classes, your dorms or apartments. The most important thing we do this week – is right here, together, with Jesus, at this altar. The most precious thing… is right here. What Jesus shares with us. And you bring your week – bring it here – and lay it down in prayer. You bring you.