Campus Ministry’s New Satellite Office Answers Need
Providence, R.I.--Providence College’s Campus Ministry has expanded to a new location in the heart of campus, and staff and students affiliated with the outreach couldn’t be more satisfied.
The satellite office is located across from McPhail’s Entertainment Facility on the lower level of the Slavin Center, the College’s student union. It supplements the operations of Campus Ministry’s headquarters in St. Dominic Chapel.
“We spend a lot of time talking about how Campus Ministry is for everyone and you don’t need to be particularly devout to be in Campus Ministry,” said College Chaplain Rev. James Cuddy, O.P. ’98. “This office is a way of actually showing what we mean. We are going out and making it easy for students to get involved. You don’t have come to us, we come to you.”
“I think the office is a really great way to connect Campus Ministry with the student body outside of the chapel and the Campus Ministry Center because it has given us a central place on campus,” said Hollis R. Dunlop ’12 (Marion, Mass.), who serves on the Pastoral Council as the student minister for social justice.
“We’re getting more interaction with other student clubs and organizations and the student body because it leaves communication open,” she added.
Campus Ministry, which is the social, service, and spiritual arm of the Office of the Chaplain/Campus Ministry, is comprised of more than two dozen ministries under five themes: Worship and Liturgy, Spiritual Life, Faith Formation, Communication, and Social Justice. The program is overseen by the student-run Pastoral Council.
Gail Berkowitz, campus minister in the Office of the Chaplain/Campus Ministry, noted the new satellite office has been a longtime goal and that it returns operations to Slavin, where they were located prior to the construction of St. Dominic Chapel in 2001.
A strategic hub
Berkowitz and Father Cuddy said the move was fueled by inquiries from students as well. Students preferred a more accessible site. The Slavin Center--with an array of recreational, study, and dining areas, as well as numerous student-centered offices--was the obvious location for expansion, both indicated.
“There is so much about the Slavin Center that is a part of the campus. There’s great collaboration here,” said Berkowitz.
“Campus Ministry was a destination place in the past. Now, this is Main Street,” said Father Cuddy. “The Slavin Center is almost like a tour of PC without saying a word.”
The satellite office is staffed weekdays by Pastoral Council members, who generally take one-hour shifts. Students are encouraged to use the center as an informational source on Campus Ministry or as a spot to study or socialize. The office offers computer terminals and soft seating.
“This is not just for the devout and churchgoers. This is for every single student. This is their space,” stated Father Cuddy.
The opening of the satellite office brings Campus Ministry “full circle,” said Kevin Brawley ’12 (Rehoboth, Mass.), a Pastoral Council member. “This completes our mission.”