Hospital, Prison and Campus ministry are all important outreach efforts by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Together they combine as one of the six ministry areas that receive funds from the Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA).
This is a first-hand account from Michael Schreiner, a Campus Minister at the University of Cincinnati, of how the Catholic Bearcat Community is a vital ministry for young Catholics:
"There is something humbling to be able to walk with students as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood. Most of our students seek us out to find a community of faith to sustain them. They are looking for friendships with people who share the same values. Others come uncertain of who God is or what a relationship with Christ would look like but know that something is lacking in their life. Some might just be coming to Mass because it’s what they know or because their parents told them to. Then there are those who might have found us because of our free dinners or game nights. All are welcome!
As the Catholic Bearcat community, we seek to help people encounter the transformative love of Christ, cultivate an integrated life of faith, and proclaim the Gospel in word and deed. Primarily, we want them to see themselves as members of the Church, a family of faith. In this setting, we offer ways for students to grow in their faith: a life rooted in the Sacraments, retreats, small groups, and service to name a few. Through these opportunities, we give students the chance to meet each other and experience God’s grace in those spaces.
Our students recognize that they are workers in the vineyard. They have created a culture of encounter and invitation at our Newman Parish. Their faith, by its very nature, turns outward to the needs of their peers. I see their desire to share their faith with others. They have come to understand that it is precisely in their day-to-day lives, living the Gospel in their own way that is the best “program” of evangelization: recognizing their own giftedness, their own belovedness and being able to respond to the world with the eyes of Christ.
Seeing them live out their faith with such authenticity has been a blessing in my life. I’m so grateful for the support we receive through CMA because it allows us to do the work of Christ and we are blessed beyond measure because of our ministry."