Ancient tradition and spirituality converge at Saint John XXIII Catholic Church as Ram Catholic students attend a candlelight mass on Thursday night.
Ram Catholic is a Colorado State University student organization. The Catholic Campus Ministry operates in partnership with Saint John XXIII Newman Center. It aims to provide spiritual support for students in the transitional time that college creates.
Elizabeth Morehead, a senior art history major and Ram Catholic member, said that the organization helps new students stay connected with the faith beginning at the Ram Awakening retreat because of the focus on fellowship and worship.
Ram Awakening is a retreat open to college-age students of any religion that aims to awake a love for God in participants. It is a weekend-long event that is held every year in the spring and fall semesters. This event helps students meet fellow Catholics near their age.
Morehead met her only friends freshman year through Ram Catholic’s bible study, she suggests newcomers start with the bible study as an introduction to the organization, she said.
Matt Worden, a junior psychology and criminal justice major came to CSU with no religious affiliations. After becoming a member of the Catholic fraternity, Phi Kappa Theta, he decided to attend the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Even though he did not have any plans to develop a place in a church community he now wants to encourage other students to just take a look.
“Just give it a chance,” Worden said. “You’ve got to be open minded.”
Steve Sonnier, a fifth-year human development and family studies major, said that Ram Catholic provides a chance for new students to re-energize their faith.
“When I got to college I kind of needed a good kick start,” Sonnier said. “I went to Ram Awakening with these guys and that really set the fire. It very much fills the need for a spiritual aspect as well as the social.”
Sonnier is also a member of Phi Kappa Theta. After beginning school, he left to attend seminary and join the priesthood. He later realized that it was not the path he was called to, and returned to classes.
There are a variety of experiences among Ram Catholic students and an easy sense of comfort and community in front of the chapel.
Students wishing to become involved with Ram Catholic are invited to attend weekly gatherings. On Thursday evenings, a candlelight mass is held at 9 p.m. and is followed by social time. A student mass is celebrated on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and afterwards the club provides a meal for students. Masses are also open to the public. When the weather is fair, Ram Catholic often plans activities. Students enjoy swing dancing socials and classes when they are available.
Ram Catholic provides bible studies, holds lectures and teaches classes. It also focuses on service. Students are able to join a service team through the organization. Right now, these teams volunteer weekly serving dinner at the Mission, a Christian homeless shelter in Fort Collins.
More information about joining Ram Catholic, a bible study or a retreat can be found on the club’s website, saintjohn.church/ram-catholic.
Ram Catholic student meetings:
- Thursday nights: 9 p.m. candlelight mass followed by social time
- Sunday mass: 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner for students
- Location: 1220 University Ave.
Collegian reporter Emma Turner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EmmaTurner1228