The Abilene Catholic Student Association created a new group on the ACU campus.
Christina Wise, junior speech pathology major from San Antonio, said she has dreamt of establishing a Catholic group on the ACU campus ever since her freshman year.
“When I was a freshman here I didn’t know anyone who was Catholic,” said Wise. “Somehow during my Welcome Week I found all of these people who were Catholic and that’s how it all kind of came together.”
During her sophomore year, Wise decided to put her vision into action and met with Mark Jackson to create a five-year plan for the Catholic student group.
“The support has been amazing to say the least,” said Angela Garcia, a volunteer with the ACSA and a former ACU student, “and with the number of Catholic students increasing at ACU, I feel Catholic students will feel more a part of the overall mission of ACU, ‘to educate the students in Christian service and leadership throughout the world.'”
Wise appointed two student officers who have helped her carry out her vision: the Vice President and Treasurer Jazmine Moreno, a junior political science major from Abilene and the Secretary and Historian Natalie Hudson, a sophomore speech pathology major from Coppell.
Hudson said,”I wanted to help start the ACU Chapter of the ACSA because last year our church group, even though it was small, was a great comfort to me because it could sometimes be overwhelming being a Catholic at a Church of Christ school. I wanted to help provide other students with that same support that I was shown, as well as provide an active Catholic presence on campus for Catholics and non-Catholics to learn about us.”
The ACU chapter of the ACSA attends Mass together once a week at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and will meet outside of the church for weekly Bible studies starting Sept. 10. They will also participate in other fun social activities in order to get to know each other. There are about 20 students involved in the group already.
Starting September 5, the ACU chapter of the ACSA will have chapel every first and third Thursday of each month in the Biblical Studies Building, room 113.
The first chapel will consist of introducing the officers and providing information about the Catholic student group. The next few chapels will go in depth about Catholicism and the misconceptions between Catholics and the Church of Christ for those who are curious.
“It’s been cool to hear different people’s perspectives, how they view religion and how they view what their beliefs are,” said Wise.
The group also plans to make community service one of its’ main focuses.
The group has decided to visit a local nursing home in the middle of September where they can get to know the residents, serve them and be the light of Christ. The group also plans to serve the community in other ways such as helping at a food bank and being a part of Habitat for Humanity.
A booth will be set up in the Campus Center Sept. 9-13 from 11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. for students who are interested in learning more about the new ACSA chapter on campus.
“It’s very humbling and rewarding to see a year and a half’s worth of trying to get this all planned out, and trying to see if this is really the best thing for the ACU community,” Wise said, “then, just going from there, it’s really great to see the rewards and see the appreciation and support I have gotten so far from the faculty and staff and especially students.”
Wise is excited to see how the group will develop within the next year and in the future.