PVI Seniors Encouraged to Pack Their Faith

By Julia Baum
Student Correspondent

Father Vaccaro speaks to a group in the cafeteria about evangelization. Photo by Beth Slucher.

Members of the University of Mary Washington Catholic Campus Ministry visited Paul VI on April 4 to present Pack Your Faith for College sessions with seniors. Students chose two of the following sessions to attend during their third and fourth period classes:

Beating the Odds: Success in College and in Holiness
Mass, Mission, and Making Disciples
Off to College in 180 Days: What to Do Between Now and Move-In Day
Stand Up, Speak Up: defending Your Faith in College
Two Roads Diverged in a Wood: How to Choose the Road Less Traveled in College

“I found ‘Off to College in 180 Days: What to Do Between Now and Move-In Day’ the most interesting, because all of us could really relate to the things she was saying,” said Maddie Chiarizia ‘17. “Since most of us will be going to college next year, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do, and after hearing this talk, it made me feel a lot better about everything—she gave us some really good advice.”

Seon Jun Choi ‘17 agreed: “Off to College was cool, because she actually talked about the experience told us advice to survive in the college; this way I can survive in the new system after 4 years in high school.”

Father Christopher T. Vaccaro, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at UMW, told students of evangelism efforts on campus. “When I first got to the university, we had 30 out of 30,000 students attending Mass. The question is, How do you get into the 10 percent?”

Vaccaro explained that evangelism occurs in and about campus: “We go into dorms and knock on students’ doors; we are in the student center;  we have the Eucharist spotlighted in the middle of campus. Two people have converted on the spot.”

Pack Your Faith session in the library. Photo by Beth Slucher.

A student from the University of Virginia discussed with PVI students on how to prepare between now and move in day.  This discussion entailed mundane talks of dorm room apparel and food but was also discussed was how to express your faith on campus.  This speech helped students get more interested in expanding their faith on campus by joining youth ministries and in evangelization.

A student from Mary Washington University discussed how she has defended her faith on college campuses.  While secularism is rising in Liberal Arts institutions, defending the Catholic Church’s mission and spreading the scripture is difficult nowadays. The speakers suggested students get involved in youth ministry clubs and surround ourselves with people of all faiths.  It is important to start a dialogue about these differing opinions of religion.

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