BRIANA TOBIN is one of 20,000 students at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois—
and one of 5,000 Catholics on campus.
She found a spiritual home away from
home at the Newman Catholic Student
Center, the college’s parish and a
vibrant faith group of peers who worship, minister, educate, and promote
peace and justice together.
“I was really drawn to the New-
Campus ministry on a mission
man Center because of the community
here and how diverse it is ,” says Tobin,
“and the opportunity I would have to
serve the students and be on a really
awesome team with other missionaries. It was inspiring to see, and I just
really wanted to be a part of that.”
members of the Newman mission team
to learn about their far-ranging activities and the good work they do. Check
out our video at youtube.com/Vision-VocationGuide.
One way to live out Pope Francis’ call to mission is as a lay missionary.
At Northern Illinois University's Newman Catholic Student Center some
young people are creating Christian community and serving fellow stu-
dents on a public university campus.
Northern Illinois University Newman Catholic Student Center sponsors a campus
light, blessing, enlivening, raising
up, healing and freeing. All around
us we begin to see nurses with soul,
teachers with soul, politicians with
soul, people who have chosen deep
down to be with others and for others” (sec. 273).
Above all Francis says that our
sense of mission springs from not a
dreary sense of burden or responsibility, but from our own joy at being
showered by God’s love and mercy.
We are called, he says, to be “joyful
Keep your options open
messengers of challenging propos-
als, guardians of the goodness and
beauty which shine forth in a life
of fidelity to the gospel” (Evangelii
Gaudium, sec. 168).
Pope Francis also encourages us to
Instead of five, he spent 53 years
consider giving our lives to God as a
priest, nun, or brother who witnesses
to the faith far from home. While in
Africa in 2015, he appealed to young
people, “Please, don’t exclude this
possibility of becoming missionaries,
to bring love, faith, and humanity to
other countries.” He spoke of how
missionaries preach with their lives
rather than by proselytizing: “Faith
is preached first through witness,
then with words—but slowly.”
Consider Father Cowell, who
passed away in 2012 in Bolivia at
age 82. I found that he was asked to
make only a five-year commitment
to serve in the missions and was then
free to return to the United States.
as a missionary in South America.
He was put in prison briefly during
a military coup and he faced other
difficulties, but a friend said these
never slowed him down or changed
his convictions. To use Pope Francis’
words, Father Cowell was one of
those who joyfully “burn up their
lives to announce Jesus Christ.” =
RELATED ARTICLE: vocationnetwork.org,
“ 6 things Pope Francis wants you to
know,” VISION 2015.
Enter #436 at VocationMatch.com