Providing the Perfect Conditions for Growth
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are happy to welcome the McNeese students back after the holiday season. The spring is a time of renewal, and as we enter into the Spring 2021 semester, we are welcoming fresh opportunities and growth for our ministry. As the McNeese campus begins to open back up after being repaired from hurricane damages, we are looking forward to joining the Cowboys back on campus to continue our excellent outreach and share the Gospel message to as many students as possible.
In light of the past few months, we are faced with a challenge. Students and families have gotten out of the Sunday habit of Mass attendance and consequently drifting away from their Faith. We are more committed than ever to be present to bring people back to the Sacraments. This is not a simple task as we combat the current culture and trends. We are looking forward to much growth in the coming semester, providing the perfect environment for students to encounter Christ, and ultimately grow into the saints they were made to be.
The process is much like the seeds in a garden. Seeds will remain dormant unless they are placed under the perfect conditions to grow. They need water, oxygen and proper temperature to germinate. When a seed is exposed to the proper conditions, the inner contents “awaken” and begin to break out of its protective shell. It begins to grow into the plant that it was designed to be. We are creating the perfect environment and conditions for our students to grow and thrive. This reminds me of the words St. Therese of Liseaux, “So it is in the world of souls… Jesus’ garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to lilies and roses, but he created small ones as well… and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances when he looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing God’s will… in being what He would have us be.”
Much of our ministry, since March, has focused on the interior life and equipping students to grow their personal relationship with the Lord in preparation for being launched into mission. This began as a small seed planted by a missionary, student leader, or member of our staff. Now these seeds are starting are taking root. As Bible studies meet, personal prayer is blossoming, conviction to living a life of virtue and commitment to the sacramental life is growing in the students.
Along with the worldwide Church, we are looking to the Patron of our Church, St. Joseph to protect our evangelization efforts, the way he protected Jesus and, as St. John Chrysostom put it, he was “at the service of the entire plan of salvation.” We are placing our trust in St. Joseph for our student programing, with an assurance that he will intercede for us and for the salvation of all those souls Cowboy Catholics serves.
We kindly ask you to keep our students in your prayers as they return back to classes. Your prayers and support are what make it possible to create the perfect conditions for students to encounter Christ and grow into saints. Be assured of our prayers for you and your family, as well.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Paul Jussen