The challenge set before us Catholics is to bring Christ into the world by becoming Christ. G.K. Chesterton is said to have once issued this clarification: “By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.” It might be helpful to begin this post with a similar clarification: by experts in Christianity I do not mean theologians, but Christ-bearers.
This is at the heart of the mission here at John Paul the Great Catholic University and it is the reason why we have spent the last two years encouraging, developing, and implementing “households” here on campus.
If you didn’t go to Franciscan University, you might not be familiar with what I’m talking about. A “household” is a group of men or women of the same gender who form spiritual bonds of friendship through a common mission and spiritual charism. Each household is held together by core commitments and devotions that help foster their own specific spirituality and mission. Their goal is to pursue holiness together by common prayer and fellowship, giving to them the experience of an intimate Christian community while here on campus.
We believe that households are foundational for giving our students the encounter they need to be impacted by Christ before they go out to impact culture for Christ.
Our first household was inaugurated in the Fall of 2013 when three undergraduate women came together to form the “Daughters of Divine Mercy” (DODM). During the first year DODM was the only household on campus, but we’ve recently seen some amazing growth and initiative from the students. In Fall 2014, we had expanded to 7 households on campus, with about a quarter of the student body involved in one:
Daughters of Divine Mercy
Laudare Et Glorificare
Theta Chi Rho
Men of the Fiat
Witnessing this enthusiastic response from the students, we recognize more and more how indispensable the household model is for the larger mission of our University. Instead of impacting the larger world in which our graduates seek to involve themselves, the household mission is to impact the University culture here at JPCatholic, specifically within student life. In this way the Gospel is brought to the students by the students.
We excited about how far we have come - this is truly the springtime for household life here on the campus of John Paul the Great Catholic University and we are looking forward to the many fruits that the Good Lord will bring.