At the beginning of the school year, we were still meeting for Sunday Brunch in our house near campus. When we first started this group in 2012 and it was just 6 of us at our kitchen table, this was a much more realistic feat. As our group grew to dozens, our 8 foot wide kitchen/dining room added a new definition to “community” as we enjoyed seldom talked about experiences such as:
- Lack of movement
- Eating with another person’s elbow on your plate
- A room temperature 15 degrees above normal
Needless to say, we needed a bigger space. Fr. Grogan, taking care of us as always, allowed us to use the rectory at Annunciation Parish for our Sunday Meetings.
As a large, secular campus, we have the opportunity to evangelize on a large scale. We purchased several hundred copies of books from the Dynamic Catholic book program this year for handing out on campus, such as Jesus Shock by Peter Kreeft, Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly, and Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor, by Allen Hunt. Despite the cold and windy weather that seemed to hit on the days chosen to set up our table on campus, SSP members persevered for the cause.
Twice a month on Wednesdays SSP attends Eucharistic Holy Hour at Annunciation Parish. Members of SSP aid as servers for the opening and closing of Adoration. Keeping the group centered on the Eucharist and calling people to it has been and will remain our primary purpose.
Several movie nights and game night also took place for plain and simple fun. After all, is there a better way to strengthen friendships than through Farkle? Yes.
SSP members have become highly involved in Parish Life, as well. We have cooked for parish events, assisted as altar servers, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and other events throughout the year. Some SSP members also participated in “Salt and Light” a parish program that dealt with issues in Social Justice.
- Bringing Holy Eucharist to the Elderly and Shut-in
- Prison Music Ministry
- Interfaith Hospitality Network Ministry For Homeless Families
- Life Protection and Advocacy
Apostolates are unique in that each person can choose an apostolate unique to their own skill set and gifts. The Apostolates’ aim to help each member of SSP answer the question “How has God called me to help others?”
- Fr. Todd Grogan: Living as a Part of the New Evangelization
- Dr. Robert Endorf: Science and Faith: How Catholicism embraces both the Natural and the Supernatural
- Dr. Jeff Zalar, UC Chair of Catholic Studies: Catholicism in the Postmodern Age
- Fr. Paul DeLuca: Let’s Start with the End: How Catholicism Ministers to the Dying and Deceased
- Sr. Sophia Lopez, O.P.: Dominican Spirituality - Study, Prayer, and Community Living
An exciting development for the 2014-2015 school year is the new SSP student housing. 6 men from SSP are moving into a new (bigger, nicer) house located within a 5 minute walk to Annunciation Parish. The same is true of 4 women of SSP, who are moving into another nearby house. The men’s house, Domus Damascus (House of Damascus), and the women’s house, Domus Dominae (House of our Lady), will be community houses, with each house taking turns hosting weekly dinners for group members. House members will also participate in community prayer together, such as the Liturgy of the Hours.
With all of this being said, I have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s going on with SSP. This upcoming school year will be a great one, and please check our website at UCSSP.com to keep up with us!