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Turn to Jesus (Article)

The JPII Community
Students at Bryant University form new Catholic group in spirit of the late pope

Nicole Stone
RC consecrated woman Nicole Stone reads from scripture during Mass

By Laura Kuhlman 

Smithfield, Rhode Island -- Take a left out of Austin Avenue onto US-44, a left onto Route 116 and a slight right onto Douglas Pike, and you’ll find yourself at Bryant University where the integration of business and liberal arts is the hallmark of this New England college. Besides the “integrative curriculum,” there is something else going on at Bryant on Sunday nights at 7:00 pm. A newly formed student group is sowing seeds for the New Evangelization called for by Pope John Paul II. 

“This year, with university chaplain Fr. Robert Marciano, we came up with the idea to form a Catholic community so that the Bryant students who come to Mass on Sunday nights can foster their friendships and find support in living out their faith,” said Regnum Christi consecrated woman Nicole Stone.  Nicole and two more consecrated women, Jennifer Ristine and Andrea Morera, work with Fr. Robert in the campus ministry program at Bryant. 

“It’s all about building community—finding good friends who share the faith—because without this, it’s really difficult to persevere in the faith, especially in college,” said Nicole. 

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the student group decided to call itself “The John Paul II Catholic Community” because the
Campus Mass
JPII student group at Mass on campus
idea was born just a few weeks before the anniversary of his papal election. 

“What made the name even more meaningful was the fact that in the inaugural Mass for the community, Fr. Marciano used a chalice that was once used by Pope John Paul II in one of his Masses,” said Nicole. “After the inaugural Mass, which took place during parents’ weekend at Bryant, we held a reception, and fifty students stuck around to hear about the project.” 

So far, the activities of the JPII Catholic Community have included a kick-off ice cream social, the creation of a pastoral council, Advent and Lenten penance services and a “Living Lent” Bible study. 

Nicole said 30 students came to the first Living Lent session.  “We studied and prayed with the Scriptures through Lectio Divina,” she said. “I think this shows that students are really interested in learning about their faith and doing so with others.”  

“Only more good things to come!” she said.





Related links

Official web site of the Vatican.
Legionaries of Christ
For Your Vocation
Mater Ecclesaie College

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