The University of St. Thomas

Community Living on the Catholic Men’s Floor

Published on: Friday, February 25th, 2011

Men's Floor

 

From Ben Dellaria, Resident Advisor to the Floor:
The Catholic Men’s Floor was initially created by Gregory Crane as a place where men seeking to grow in faith could do so in a safe environment with other devoted Catholics. After being given the R.A. (Resident Advisor) responsibility, I knew I was under qualified and unprepared to lead the men on the floor. Beyond maintaining the floor, the chance that it could grow was completely out of the question. Fortunately for me, God has taken a hold of the floor and molded it into the idea we had initially hoped for.  As a residence life employee it is our job to build community on our floors, but I noticed the community on the Men’s Floor was building itself. It was so clear that since the men were all pursuing God, it was only natural that community life be a result. This community where each person is safe being themselves yet challenging each other to grow, has flourished under the protection of Jesus Christ.

I believe that one of the most important parts of our community is our shared prayer life.  Sunday through Thursday we do night prayer together in the meditation room in Ireland Hall. We have the opportunity to share in the Liturgy of the Hours while adding our own little twists. For the Bible passage, one person picks a passage that they want to share with the rest of us. We also offer additional petitions with each other during this time so that we may share the burdens and joys of life together.

From Nicholas Froehle, second year resident studying Catholic Studies and Philosophy:
Having lived on the floor where Ben has served as R.A. for two years, I can definitely attest to his observation regarding God working on the floor. I can think of no place else where one can find a group of men whose interests span from A-Z living together in an incredibly tight community.

 The communal living and prayer life has had a profound impact on my own life, as well. Such an uplifting community that refuses to let me be stagnant in my prayer is something that has never surrounded me before. The men challenge me to maintain a schedule that involves daily prayer, and there is always someone willing to attend Mass with me. I was introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours through this floor and it is something that I have taken to implementing in my everyday life.

 It has also been a blessing to see God allow this floor to grow. Last year, there were about half as many men, and I can only pray that God will let the floor continue to expand. The floor is here as a way for men to connect with others who hold the same faith as themselves. This is incredibly important—especially at college when one is able to really begin forming his own values!

This floor demonstrates that the Christian life is an active one. It is something that every person, regardless of interests, can participate in. There are service opportunities at Feed My Starving Children and the Missionaries of Charity. Many men participate in Saint Paul’s Outreach and Students for Human Life. Practically every facet of the Catholic faith is accessible through living on this floor, and I am blessed to have been formed by this experience in my two years here.

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