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St. Paul’s welcomes students on journey of faith Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Carolyn Averill, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

Spring Wine Fest

St. Paul’s Ninth Annual Spring Wine Fest
Friday, May 4:
• 6 p.m. — Wine and beer tasting featuring Karben4 beer
• 6:45 p.m. — Dinner with continued wine and beer tasting
• 8:30-9:15 p.m. — Program featuring student testimonies
• 9:30 p.m.-midnight — Continued socializing
Cost: $75 per person or package of four tickets for $280; reserved table of 10 seats for $650
Where: Monona Terrace (1 John Nolen Dr.), Madison

RSVP: By April 27.
Visit www.uwcatholic.org/swf
Questions: Email Carolyn Averill at caverill@uwcath olic.org

MADISON -- On a windy April evening, the opening prayers of the 2018 Easter Vigil were heard for the first time since 2015 from the exterior of 723 State St., home of the beautiful new St. Paul’s Church and Student Center in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

And what an eagerly anticipated evening it was for those gathered to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection during this momentous first year in St. Paul’s new home!

Easter Vigil at St. Paul’s

A large crowd gathered for the Mass and particularly to welcome 22 students who had been preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation throughout the past year.

Those gathered during the Vigil witnessed three students receive the Sacrament of Baptism, 10 students enter into full communion with the Church from other faiths, and nine students who had been baptized Catholic likewise receive the graces of Confirmation.

Fr. Mark Miller, parochial vicar of St. Paul’s and himself a convert to the Catholic faith, leads the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program for these young candidates and catechumens.

Father Miller said, “I really appreciate how much of a difference it makes asking those difficult questions and the drive to determine what you believe and why. I was asking myself those questions when I was a UW student and today I see the same thing in so many young men and women -- they have questions about the world, they want real answers, and they won’t settle for anything less.”

Students on a journey

Every student who walks through the doors of St. Paul’s is on a journey of some kind. A young person’s years in the university are often a dynamic time of personal growth and questioning what they know about the world, themselves, and their place in society.

And within the many programs, opportunities for involvement, and personal relationships with peers and staff at St. Paul’s, students can find the support and encouragement to earnestly seek what is true, good, and beautiful while discovering the personal call God has for each of them.

For Liz Sepulveda, a UW-Madison junior who received Confirmation at the 2018 Easter Vigil, the story of her faith coming alive on campus started with an invitation from a co-worker’s roommate during the middle of freshman year.

Sepulveda shares how, “one day, this friend invited me to come to Mass at St. Paul’s with her, and it was really comforting to have someone to go with. She was the only person I knew who was involved with her faith on campus, and without her invitation, I really don’t think I would have ever gone on my own.”

Personal relationships, a friendly welcome, and a warm invitation can make all the difference in a student’s first experiences of faith on campus.

For Sepulveda, “this same friend then invited me to her Bible study, and I started to learn how faith fits into daily life through the supportive, amazing women I met there. This prompted me to want to go to daily Mass more often and to go to morning prayer held each day at St. Paul’s.

“Everyone was so welcoming and willing to answer my questions (and I had many). It was a support system and a community where we could grow together in what it means to be Catholic in college and in our daily lives with so many pressures of society.”

Through lens of faith

A student’s years in college are full of decisions that have a far-reaching impact on their adulthood. St. Paul’s is in a privileged position to assist many young men and women in forming an authentic relationship with Christ and by doing so, develop a worldview through the lens of faith.

This worldview, rooted in prayer and graces of the sacraments, can multiply students’ efforts to seek the will of the Lord as they grow in holiness and service to the common good.

With the new church and student center recently completed, the mission of St. Paul’s to reach more students, inviting them into relationship with Christ and His Church, can now have an even deeper impact on current students and thousands of future Badgers.

Spring Wine Fest

All are encouraged to experience the joy and vitality of this life-changing mission at the ninth annual Spring Wine Fest on Friday, May 4.

A lively event that brings together the Catholic community, benefactors, and many current St. Paul’s student leaders, this is an evening to celebrate the continued impact of Catholic campus ministry at UW-Madison, within the Diocese of Madison, and beyond.

 
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