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October 16, 1987     The Message
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October 16, 1987

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16 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana October 16,1987 I II Starting out at Vincennes Newman Center director t000000lieves in 'Catholic presence' on campus By MARY T. ELLERT Message Staff Writer Last in a series on campus ministry Even though the walls in his office are still empty, the new director of the Newman Center at Vincennes University is full of ideas. Ray Brennan, 32, took over the post this fall and has set up an office in the Welsh ad- ministration building on cam- pus. His first order of business is to find out exactly how many Catholic students there are at the university. He's got his work cut out for him. Currently, Brennan has a list of 200 Catholic students who filled out the optional religious preference form during registra- tion. This list is "probgbly off by a factor of 10 -- it should be closer to 2,000," he said. "To find the rest of the Catholic students, they either have to come to me or I have to do things to make myself visible to them. A lot of programs -- things that I would like to do -- will have to wait until I find enough students. Right now I just don't have enough students appearing on a regular basis." Brennan thinks part of the problem is due to the large number of commuter students at Vincennes University./'Most of the students here at@ com- muters -- it's a regional cam- pus. A lot of them disappear about four in the afternoon and even more of them disappear over the weekend," he said. "They've got some statistical breakdown that the" surround- ing areas comprise over half of the student body. Part of the problem is finding a time when you can gather the students." In order to get these students' attention, he is trying to hive a series of Sunday evening meetings "where they can be among friends." However, all he can do is suggest. "The Newman Center can only offer the Catholic com- munity a sense of fellowship. You can't drag them in here. We can just let them know there is such an organization present -- we'd like to see them," he said. "I'm willing to meet whatever needs they might have, but they have to make that first step. They have to come to the meeting -- do something to let me know that they're there." BRENNAN SAID HE is sur- prised at the number of students who don't recognize that the Newman Center is a Catholic organization. He said, "I'm trying to be real careful to , link the two together so there's no question about what the Newman Center is. "We don't have the ability here to offer Mass, so the Newman Center may, in that sense, have more of a difficulty of recognition," he continued. "If the priests in the diocese -- sometime around graduation -- would plug the fact that there is such a thing as a Newman Center -- and that students might want to look for that when they get to college -- that might be a help." Because he is new to the posi- tion, Brennan said one of his biggest problems is his own recognition on campus. He teaches three sections of English, which has given him "exposure and credibility." In addition, Brennan has become a member of nearby Sacred Heart Church and was introduced at all Masses one Sunday as the new director of the university Newman Center. HAUB STEAK HOUSE PRIME STEAKS - SEAFOOD - CHICKEN (1) 768-6462 LARGE PARTY ROOMS Haubstadt, Ind. I Brennan has been encourag- ing students to attend the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart because there isn't a Mass on campus. "If they start to go to Mass and find one another, they can find some sense of community. "We can suggest and try to get them to go and feel some sense of community there at Sacred Heart, but again, the nature of the campus is such that all we can do is suggest. How well it works is up to them. ' ' Brennan firmly believes in the importance of having a Catholic presence at the univer- sity. "You need some affirma- tion of the faith, some recogni- tion of community, some sense of fellowship," he explained. "In that sense, a Newman Center is important to the academic community much like the parish is important to the social community." Brennan attended Vincennes University for two years and graduated from Indiana Univer- sity in Bloomington with a dou- ble major in English and Philosophy. Before college, he served overseas duty in the army for six years and worked as a probation officer. In his spare time, Brennan enjoys reading, chess and play- ing tennis. RAY BRENNAN :\\; FAMOUS BRANDS FOR LESS. "tll FURNITURE - CARPET - APPLIANCES OME. OUTFITTERS [ JASPER- LOOGOOTEE - WASHINGTON WE DELIVER ALL OVER SOUTHERN INDIANA BRINGCHRIST TO THE END00I OF THE EARTH Missionaries bring Christ to others by to a sinner, and medical aid to the sick preaching the Word, in the Eucharist in isolated villages. and by helping to, relieve the burdens Help bring Christ "to the ends of the needy, of the earth l" Give to the Propagation You can help bring Christ, too! of the Faith. Your gift to the Propagation of the ] .,, - 1 - I i-lease ae enerous o Faith brings a missionary s emorace I ....... g. ,n | worlll Mission Sund toan abandoned child, forgiveness / _ _ ay I i-ii i- ii ii-i iii, iI October 18th I " Iii I . ... . ... / I The Propagation of the Fa,th I I / - 082 I '/IJ'\\; MSGR. CLARENCE A. SCHLACHTER l I I Diocesan Mi=io. om EVV I  P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, Indiana 47711 - I I want to bring Christ to the world. Enclosed is my gift of: I I [] $5 $I0 [] $25 [] $50 [] $100 [] Other $I ' l I Snecial Gifts are needed too I [] $250 [] $500 [] $1000 I . J I " [] I would like to be a monthly donor v I Name ' I i Address I City " State Zip I I Please ask missionaries to remember my intentions at Mass I our Gift is "Iax Deductible! IIIIII