Written by Caroline Stiles ’15, Catholic Studies and Philosophy
Fun fact: Any Catholic male who has reached the age of reason, is not a heretic, is not in schism, and is not “notorious” for simony can be elected pope. This means, my fine Catholic Studies gentlemen, that you, yes you, could be elected pope. Of course, let’s be real. You all reside in Minnesota after all, and your accents are far too thick for the world to experience. So rest assured, you have nothing to worry about….you’re welcome.
I was asked to write this blog post because I am a Peer Minister and the President of Catholic Studies Incorporated. Apparently this is a sufficient condition for having an interesting story to tell.
A bit about Eer-pay Inistry-may: we are a group of four women and four men who live in the dorms and work to encourage and enrich the faith lives of other students. This includes putting on programs such as Theology of the Body, women’s groups, soul mate seminars, retreats and much more. We also put on Praise and Worship as well as Journey in Faith every other week. It’s pretty neat.
In my opinion, we have the most wonderful job on campus. How could it not be? I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but there really cannot be any better job. Working as a peer minister has been by far the most humbling experience of my life, and nothing says blessed like having the opportunity to bring others close to the Lord. The close, intimate relationships that we build with other students are beautiful, crucial and wholesome.
I know what you’re thinking: “Pshh, are they really even doing anything? Seems like a vague job description to me.” I’ve heard it before. What do Peer Ministers even do? Why don’t we have FOCUS? I get it. But in the most honest and humble way possible, I have to believe that the Lord is working through us to impact lives. Perhaps I am the only one, but for me, I grow by example. I need someone close to me who is pushing me to grow with the Lord either by tangible challenges or simply through their holiness.
This, my friends, is the very idea behind Peer Ministry. Sure we put on events, providing students with promising opportunities to push themselves, but more than ever we try to lead by example and build intimate relationships so we can have a partner in this battle for Heaven. Clearly this path to holiness is not a path we can take by ourselves. That’s where we come in. And when I say we, I mean WE, as in this whole campus, state, and world. I may have a title as Peer Minister, but let me assure you that there are more than eight peer ministers on this campus. We, especially as Catholics, are all in this as one. If there is one thing I have learned this year it is that the Lord uses each and every one of us to bring glory to Him. You don’t need a title to make an impact.
So that’s it. That’s Peer Ministry. Raw, life-on-life, God-driven relationships. It seems worthwhile to me. Praise the Lord.