The Campus Ministry of the province of Santiago participated in a meeting organized by the Bishops’ Conference held from 16 to 18 November in the Diocesan Seminary of Avila. The meeting was attended on behalf of the province by the pastoralists Fr. Jorge Ruiz Aragoneses, cmf, as part of the PJV of the missionaries of Santiago and Rubén Francisco Moro, involved in this work in two Colleges. This year, the initiative, convened as always by the Episcopal Subcommission for Universities and Culture, was entitled ‘A new time for Campus Ministry’ and around this framework good practices were shared that helped to weave an increasingly consolidated network, while at the same time addressing the challenges inherent in evangelization in universities and for university students. “The main theme revolved around the question of how to introduce Catholic culture into the university world,” explains Francisco Moro.
The conference began on Wednesday 16 November with a greeting from the president of the Sub-Commission, Monsignor Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, a Jesuit religious. Francisco Javier Martínez Fernández, a member of the Subcommittee, gave a thought-provoking conference entitled ‘Cultivating faith and the call to conversion in these times’. Time was also scheduled for a meeting with the Campus Ministry of the diocese of Avila.
It is true that in other years,” says Francisco Moro, a veteran of these meetings, “the theme was more specific, but on this occasion the conference was particularly suggestive because of the call to critical reflection on our values and how to play them in cultural battle, applying them, of course, to the university world”.
On Thursday 17 November, the work continued with a talk by Elizabeth Newman, professor of Theology and Ethics at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond and Duke University Divinity School in Durham (USA), entitled ‘A Treasure Hidden in a Field: Discovering Abundance in a Diminishing World’. On the same day, there was a presentation of The Campus Ministry of the Catholic University of Avila (UCAV) and an open forum with the participants in this meeting to evaluate with their experiences the state of Campus Ministry today. “Also, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the canonization of St. Teresa, we had a meeting with the diocesan administrator,” recalls Francisco Moro.
On the third day of the meeting, Friday 18 November, Mary Therese Lysaught, professor of Moral Theology and Health Ethics at the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Care Leadership at Loyola University Chicago and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, gave a talk entitled ‘War or Peace? Toward a Better Kind of (Bio) Politics’.
In the last conference scheduled for this meeting, Darwin Castillo presented the educational project he coordinates for young Nicaraguan university students in exile. Finally, the plan that the diocesan delegates of Campus Ministry are finalizing in preparation for the next World Youth Day in Lisbon, which begins this summer, was shared. Likewise, the formative meeting that this same Sub-Commission has set up involving young students, “and of which we take good note, as we will certainly sign up for it next year”, concludes Rubén Francisco Moro.