College Connection Program keeps students connected to their faith Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Apr. 22, 2010 -- 12:00 AM
How involvement in campus ministry affects students

A CARA study for the U.S. Catholic bishops concerning Catholic campus ministry found that students active in campus ministry:

• Attend Mass more often.

• Donate more to their parishes.

• Become parish leaders.

• Were more likely to consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.

MADISON -- When high school graduates go off to college, their faith and moral life are often tested in this new environment.

The support of campus ministries, Newman centers, and the opportunity to attend Mass are especially important to help college freshman keep connected to their faith.

However, with new privacy laws, Catholic campus ministries are often prohibited from finding out a student’s religious background.

Program connects students

That is why the U.S. Council of Serra has developed a simple, effective program to help make the connection. The College Connection Program connects college-bound high school seniors with the Catholic ministry presence at the colleges or universities they plan to attend.

The Diocese of Madison began the College Connection Program last year. In 2009, the Diocese of Madison Serra Clubs and the diocesan Office of Vocations connected over 500 high school graduates with the campus ministry programs at their colleges or universities. This includes both secular and private college campuses throughout the country.

“I am grateful to the Serra Club for helping us with this outreach program,” said Fr. Paul Ugo Arinze, diocesan vocation director. “With all the challenges that confront freshman on college campuses these days, the Catholic campus ministry could be a sanctuary for them. This is an excellent way for them to remain connected to the values that they learned at home. Please help us to help our future leaders.”

How to submit names

Parents, parishes, and Catholic high schools in the diocese are invited to submit the names and home addresses of students and the name and location of the college or university they plan to attend.

Pew cards can be filled out at participating parishes either at Masses or at parish or parent meetings. Students may also be enrolled online at (vocations tab).

Then, on behalf of the diocese, the Serra Club notifies the campus ministries of the incoming Catholic students, allowing them to encourage student participation in Catholic life on campus.

The diocesan Office of Vocations will mail a basic contact packet to the students’ homes as well.

The Diocese of Madison’s student list is intended only to communicate to the campus ministries and will remain confidential.

For more information, contact Father Arinze at 608-821-3095 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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