Newman Catholic Community @ RIT

Third Sunday of Lent + March 8, 2015


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Lent 2015

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We are at the midpoint of Lent. When I was younger, I often wondered what my giving up for 40 days really had to do with my understanding of God's love for me. I hung onto that question for many, many Lents. I have since learned and grown in understanding of what Lent is and is not, but I occasionally think back to how confusing Lent seemed to be for me for such a long time.

This year, I am participating in the Busy Person's Retreat along with three students from our community. (We have over 20 people participating in this retreat this Lent.) In the introduction to the retreat is a great explanation of Lent, "The test of Lent in the end is not what we have done for Lent, rather, what Lent has done for others through us..." We put a lot of emphasis on not doing this or doing that, sometimes forgetting that Lent is really about giving God space in our hearts...softening our sometimes hard hearts. It's about remembering that because God is our father, you and I are brothers and sisters to one another. We sometimes forget this important piece.

St. Irenaeus, who lived in the second century offers us an image that we might find helpful.

It is not you that shapes God

it is God that shapes you.

If you are the work of God

await the hand of the artist

who does all things in due season.

Offer God your heart

soft and tractable,

and keep the form

in which the artist has fashioned you.

Let your clay be moist

let you grow hard

and lose the imprint of God's fingers.

- St. Irenaeus

A Jesuit, Philip Chircop has come up with a few questions you might find helpful as you reflect on how Lent is going so far. You can find them below.

  • Are you soft, moist clay or a hardened clump?
  • What practices can you indulge in that can keep you soft, moist, flexible, open, and fresh?
  • What is it in your life that can inadvertently be closing your heart, hardening your points of view, limiting your vision, and numbing your feelings?
  • How do you experience the potter’s touch, the artist’s touch, the creator’s touch?
  • If you had to make a quick pencil drawing of the present “work of art” that is you what would it look like?

(Philip Chircop, SJ)

Have a great week. Hang in there with Lent...and remember, Lent is More... It's all about know God's love and compassion, forgiveness and grace more and more and more.

Peace friends.

Alice MN

An on campus Retreat Opportunity...again, for busy people

A Lenten Experience of the Sacred and The Mysteries of Life

· What gives us hope?

· What saps the life out of us?

· How does kinship with others help us

do more than survive?

Three Mondays in March 2015

March 2 @ RIT - Jones Chapel

March 9 @ RIT – Jones Chapel

March 16 @ RIT – Jones Chapel

Noon – 1 p.m.

will be the facilitators for the retreat.

Free will offering to be shared between St. Mary's of Malawi, Africa and Newman Catholic Community @ RIT
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RIT RELAY FOR LIFE - Newman Catholic Community Team!

Join the fun...

We have had three generous people offer to help us put this team together. Two are offering help with the $10. registration fees, one is offering matching monies for what we raise! Come along, it will be a great time!

Do I have to run? No. Do we pass a baton from one person to the next? No. Do I have to stay up all night? No. Can I stay up all night? Yes. Will it be fun with games and activities and food? Yes.

The Relay for Life is an all night event 6 pm - 6 am to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Games, activities and food for participants. Team members will walk around the field house throughout the night (but you don't have to walk all walk as long as you want to walk) while at the same time participating in activities and games and other such nonsense! It's fun! It's big (hundreds of people) and it is for a good cause!

Relay for Life is a global event sponsoredby the American Cancer Society. Cities all over the world host a Relay for Life event during the Spring and Summer. This fundraiser is an organized walk that can last up 24 hours. Members of the team walk around the track during the fundraiser, in addition, there are activities, food, and a great atmosphere to make it fun-filled and entertaining event. The RIT Relay this year is a 12 hour event from 6 pm- 6 am on April 11th in the Gordon Field House. The goal of RIT Relay is 50,000 dollars and this money goes to American Cancer Society for research on cancer and to support cancer patients in many ways.

Join the fun. Relay is coming to RIT and we have the chance to make it the largest fundraiser on the campus!

To sign up and find out more information, go to:

If you are hesitant to join the team, no worries...the Newman community will sponsor some fund raising events to raise money for our team. We can work on this one together! Join the fun and bring a friend.

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Do you know anything about marketing? Are you looking for a short term project?

A few weeks ago I wrote about St. Michael's Wood Shop here in Rochester. The wood shop is a place for teens and young adults to come and learn wood working skills in hopes they might learn a trade or be inspired to continue their education. They learn to make absolutely beautiful things out of wood and have the opportunity to sell them at malls and local venues in Rochester. The wood shop offers hope to young people who sometimes can not see a way out of poverty.

Sr. Jackie called a few weeks ago looking for someone to help put together a brochure for the wood shop. Erin Gabreski offered and met with Sr. Jackie. They determined they need someone to help with marketing. This brochure will be used to advertise the wood shop as well as be used with potential donors to the organization.

Might you be interested in a short term project? You can find out more by emailing Alice or Erin

Thanks for considering this project!

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Communion Service - Tuesday, March 10th at noon in the Jones Chapel

Looking for another way to slow down a bit during the season of Lent? Deacon Phil offers a communion service once a month at noon. It lasts about 20 minutes and offers a chance in the middle of the day to stop and focus on our relationship with God. Take a few moments and breathe in God's love!

Do you know anything about marketing? Are you looking for a short term volunteer project?

A few weeks ago, I told you about St. Michael's Wood Shop in Rochester. It is a place where youth from the city can go and learn woodworking skills, make beautiful pieces of furniture and lots of cool things. For kids who are at risk and for some who might not have had a strong educational background, this offers a place where they can learn a trade and possible be inspired to continue their education.

The wood shop is looking to put together a brochure and a marketing plan to share with potential donors to the wood shop. Erin Gabreski has offered to help with the brochure and after a meeting with Sr. Jackie it was determined that we need someone who might know something about marketing. ARE YOU INTERESTED?

Email Alice or Erin for more information.

Scripture Reflection continues!

Each Thursday evening, a group of students gather with Deacon Phil to consider and talk about the scriptures for the coming weekend. Think about joining them on Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Center for Religious Life in the Sun Room (upstairs). Email Deacon Phil if you have questions...all are welcome, come when you are able!

Interested in praying the Rosary?

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Each Tuesday, a group will gather at 5:15 pm to pray the rosary. This is a great way to stop a busy day and gather with others to quietly reflect on God's goodness in your life and in our world.

Don't know how to pray the rosary? That is ok, we will have some rosaries and booklets for those who need a refresher or would like to start from the beginning.

Think about stopping by for a few minutes of quiet before the evening gets underway.

Daily Mass anyone?

There has been some interest by some students for a daily Mass they could attend. If there seems to be an interest, at some point, we might be able to offer a daily Mass on campus. How about we "test the waters" as they say and each Wednesday morning, gather by the chapels in the Center for Religious Life at 7:45 a.m. and head over to Guardian Angels for the 8:15 a.m. Mass. Daily Mass lasts about 30 minutes. You could be back on campus about 9 a.m. Alice Miller Nation can take 4 people and if others are available to drive, that would be great. If you want to go, drop me an email: so I know who to look for on Wednesday mornings.
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Sunday Mass is each Sunday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Center for Religious Life. (Just off the quarter mile by the bridge.)