We have had a few busy weeks here in the parish and we seem to be in the final stretch before summer. A week and a half ago the Campus Ministry had the “Full Moon Mass” at White Sands. It was Fr. Trinidad and my first trip into the park and we were impressed with the beauty. The students brought sleds, a football, and some strange game involving a net on the ground. We had a good time and finished the evening with the celebration of Mass on the sand dunes. I want to thank Shay, our Campus Ministry Intern, for doing a great job of organizing events for the students this semester.
Speaking of Campus Ministry, I have an update in that area as well. St. Albert the Great Newman Parish began years ago as a Newman Center. Newman Centers are named after Saint John Henry Newman (so our parish is really named after two saints) and was inspired by his writings. Their mission is to help Catholic students at secular universities live out their faith. The university experience of today is incomparable with that from 50, 40, and even 30 years ago. Our society is growing increasingly secular and what were once bedrock virtues recognized by society at large, now are often ridiculed and scorned. It seems increasingly common that universities become the petri-dish of ideologies and viewpoints antithetical to the message of Christ. Our Catholic brothers and sisters can find themselves immersed in this reality, quite foreign to their upbringing, and faced with a ‘sink or swim’ situation. Newman Centers are meant to provide a place for their faith to be nurtured and supported, a place where they can grow in faith and receive the graces, they need to resist the pull of the temptations they encounter.
In order to better carry out this mission, in order to truly support and accompany the students of NMSU and DACC, St. Albert the Great Newman Parish is looking for a full time Campus Minister. The Campus Minister will work with Fr. Trinidad and I in our outreach efforts, in planning events, and ultimately in connecting more students to Christ. I ask you to please spread the word and if you, or anyone you know is interested, please have them contact Isabel Gallegos for the job description.
While I am speaking of jobs, there is another area that needs mention. Our Youth Minister, Dean Gontis, will be starting grad school and moving on. I’m grateful to Dean for his help in familiarizing me with a bit of the history of the campus ministry (which he has helped out with) and for his work with the parish youth ministry. It has been a challenging year for obvious reasons and we are looking forward to resuming in-person CCD classes in the fall. With Dean stepping away, we are looking for someone to take on the responsibilities of the Religious Education of grades 6-HS and to organize activities for the youth ministry. The position is part-time and once again, if you are interested, please contact Isabel Gallegos in the parish office.
One final note. I will be away for a few weekends. As you are aware, I still have some responsibilities at the Pastoral Center, one of which is assisting the bishop in some travels. As you read this, I will be in Denver visiting my parents and family for a few days, then I’ll be back during the week, but for the two weekends after that I will be away helping the bishop with confirmations and visits.
And one final, final note. We will continue the 6:30PM Sunday night ‘Student Mass’ through the end of May. We will discontinue that Mass for June-August before starting up again in September.