Page 2 Page 7 Aaron and Shanna’s beautiful discernment story shows how we can mirror the love of Christ in our relationships and experience true joy as it was meant for us. Page 10 Testimonies from spring break mission trips to San Lucas, Guatemala, and St. Lucia Page Inspiring testimonies of two students who attended the Student Leadership Summit 2018 4 Snapshots of our ministry in action Page 9 Page Riley’s journey to become a FOCUS missionary 12 Garten will be bringing his relationship wiht Christ into his new career.

Hello! What an amazing year!! In all honesty, I have nothing to compare it to, but this year was amazing. I keep telling people I’m having too much fun. We have a record number of students in Bible studies. We had over 550 students come through two Masses at the Newman Center for Ash Wednesday. (We had to set up extra chairs at both Masses.) We had 18 men at the last Discernment group. We also started a Women’s Discernment Group. This group has had up to 12 young women. We had some amazing speakers for our Theology on Tap nights. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to bring in some top notch national speakers to come talk to our students about everything from the Shroud of Turin, to the spirituality of Star Wars, to transgenderism. More importantly, students are falling in love with Jesus. I see students in the chapel constantly. The Masses are well attended. Thursday night Mass is well attended. The two Sunday Masses are both almost full. We estimate we interact with over 600 students a week! Hundreds of students went on mission trips and/or retreats this year. We had over 60 students go to SLS this January, another record for our campus. We have four students going on to be FOCUS missionaries themselves. Again, people ask me about the future of the Catholic Church. I tell them I have no idea what is going to happen to this or that parish. However, I do know the future of the Catholic Church is bright, alive, and excited. The young people are on fire for Christ, the Church, and the teachings of the Church. They do not want the Truth watered down and made easy. They want to be challenged to live the impossible; because they now know the impossible is possible with Jesus and Mary. They inspire me to be more holy, draw closer to Christ, and to live a life immersed in the love of Christ and our Blessed Mother. Fr. Andrew Vogel Pastor SUMMER 2018 1

I was invited to SLS by my bible study leader, Aaron Filzen, and I was a bit hesitant at first to go. However, after talking with my sister, who also went, I felt as though God was calling me to go on this trip to Chicago with a bus full of people I hardly knew. I remember being incredibly nervous the night before, but those nerves were eased very quickly the next morning. I quickly realized how different these people were from everyone else I interacted with on campus, and it was beautiful. Despite this realization, I did not realize that many of the people on that bus would turn out to be the people I would spend most of my time with over the next semester. The conference itself was incredible. The speakers, atmosphere, and huge group of Catholic people so on fire for their faith were all just remarkable. However, I think the people that made the trip a life changing experience were all the missionaries. It brings me such joy to look back on this time and see how clearly Christ is working in every one of these people. Specifically, the missionaries from Mankato, and their ability to bring in someone who knew so few of the people in this massive conference center, did such an incredible job in making me feel like I belonged with these people I had just met a few days ago. This experience was the kickstart to me really becoming involved with the Newman Center. However, more importantly it led to me developing my relationship with Christ, which is without a doubt, the most valuable thing could gain from my entire college experience. 2

Coming into my freshmen year, I was almost expecting to fall away from my faith by getting caught up in the stereotypical freshman scene. That all changed when I got a text from, Clare Tichawa, who is now my bible study leader. When she first told me about SLS I blew it off and didn’t even consider going, but a few weeks later I felt moved by the Holy Spirit and found myself in Fr. Vogel’s office signing up. Leading up to the trip I had many second thoughts about going and was very anxious considering I hardly knew anyone else going. That changed the second I stepped into the conference center and became overwhelmed by a feeling that the Lord was about to do great things. The entire conference blew me away. It was a HUGE conversion moment for me. My relationship with Christ has since grown in incredible ways and continues to grow daily, but this would not be possible without the amazing friends that He placed into my life at SLS. Friends that were so welcoming and who are true witnesses of God’s love. Friends that strive to live virtuous lives and glorify the kingdom daily, that are running right alongside me in my faith journey. At SLS, the beginning of many authentic, deep, and beautiful relationships were rooted. Relationships that have changed my life and will last a lifetime. Now, I can’t imagine my life if I had never stepped foot in the Newman Center or at that conference. I thank Our Lord every day for the many graces He has given me, truths He has revealed to me, and friendships he has brought to me through both the Newman Center and FOCUS. 3

Thanksgiving dinner Christmas Party Women’s Ministry Minute 2 win it Halloween party Food for friends 4 Paint ball talent show 2018

receive award FOR BEST COUNCIL Swing dance Sadie hawkins dance Anthony Digman Fr. Tad Pacholczyk : Star Wars: A Catholic Perspective : Exploring Transgender ON Dr. Bud marr & Bo Bonner Russ Breault : The Shroud of Turin : Anti-Fragile Dicipleship SUMMER 2018 5

By Sarah Moenkedick MNSU Senior Written by Cody and Susan Vanasse “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. … I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10: 10-11, 14-15) I was at a point in my daily prayer when I was really doubting and uncertain about where my relationship with Jesus was, or even how to relate with Jesus. For quite some time I had felt that Jesus was not choosing me; that He did not desire to know me in the way that others seemed to know Him. While sitting in adoration, I opened my Bible and I happened to read over John 10. I was struck to the heart. I began to reflect on the relationship between a shepherd and a sheep. A shepherd invests and cares so deeply for each individual sheep of his flock. The sheep on the other hand, have no idea what is going on. Their job is to have complete trust and follow the voice and guidance of the shepherd. This is where I lacked; I had never totally surrendered everything to Jesus. I didn’t trust in His voice because I had thought He abandoned me. But through this scripture passage, He so gently reminded me of who He truly is. He patiently led me back to the truth that He desires to know me in a personal and intimate way. It is in these little, yet profound, moments in the silence of prayer that God speaks to my heart. These little encounters reveal to me the great mystery of who I am and to whom I belong. The more time I spend conversing with God, the more I realize how unique every person’s relationship with Him is and how beautiful it is that He speaks to us all so differently. Whenever I find myself lost in prayer, I always turn back to John 10. I ask Jesus where I am lacking in trusting Him and then I surrender to His love, the love of Him laying down his life on the cross so that I might live. 6

By Aaron Filzen, MNSU Senior Our story is unique, and certainly something neither of us would have imagined upon starting college when we both fell away from our faith. Through various people and events the Lord lead us back to Himself and His church. He also lead us to pray outside Planned Parenthood on a cold October night for 40 Days for Life. This is where we had our first conversation, and our first prayer. Four of us friends would continue to pray there week after week at the same time. Eventually this lead into our friendship witch blossomed into a relationship. The sacraments, specifically the Eucharist, have always been a key part to our relationship and our discernment. As our relationship with the Lord grew, so did our relationship with each other. It was through our dedication to Jesus that our relationship slowly progressed into something unlike other relationships. We would spend time daily while dating to seek out the Lord’s mission for our lives, as time progressed the Lord slowly revealed his mission for our lives. We had found this through our prayers and our adventures. These adventures have lead us many different places. One of the most recallable adventures was when I went to visit Shanna in Alaska where she had been working for the summer. We had decided to climb a mountain together and when we made it to the peak we would pray together. The climb was challenging and the path unclear at times, however we had an unquenchable desire to make it to the peak so that we could pray, eventually we had made it. The time was mid day the clouds had moved in. In prayer the Holy Spirit came over me and I looked up into Shanna’s eyes and had a profound acknowledgement that this will be the woman that I lay my life down for, and that she is to be apart of the mission the Lord invites me to go on with Him. Now preparing for the sacrament of marriage, the Lord is gently guiding us to discover all the beauty this vocation envelopes. We have been fascinated by JPII’s teachings and discoveries on Theology of the Body. As we are learning more about the Church’s teachings, we are also continually unwrapping the gift of friendship and authentic love between each other. We have recently been offered to serve as part of FOCUS- Fellowship of Catholic University Students as missionaries. We are excited to serve under the same mission and spend the first years of marriage serving each other and being the hands and feet of the Lord. St. Joseph- pray for us! SUMMER 2018 7

Growing up, I was happy in my ELCA Lutheran church. Yet, I was always a little restless, asking questions no one in my church would answer. When I went to college in South Dakota, I joined an interdenominational Christian group and was amazed by how differently various denominations interpreted the Bible. Sometimes, the interpretations were so contradictory I didn’t know what to believe. This prompted me to become nondenominational, exploring different denominations for a few years before moving to Mankato for graduate school. But the one church I never thought I would join was a Catholic one. I believed many untrue things about Catholicism. The only reason I went to mass at the Newman Center for the first time was because it was close to my apartment and I didn’t have a car. Then, someone talked to me after mass and invited me to a Bible study led by Julia Bressler, who welcomed all my questions. The Bible study sparked my curiosity, eventually leading me to join RCIA the next year. The deeper I dug into the history of Christianity, the more I found that the church of the apostles looked like Catholicism. Through prayer and study, I started to love the eucharist and decided to be confirmed in the Church. I am excited to have converted to Catholicism. However, it’s also a complicated time for me. I still have a lot of feelings and thoughts left over from my protestant upbringing. This can be really confusing sometimes, especially when my friends or mentors express disappointment or concern about my choice to become Catholic. Yet, while I’m still working through some things, I am excited for the next chapter of my journey and grateful to everyone at the Newman Center for their help and guidance over the last couple of years. 8 By Leah Alsaker, MNSU Grad Student

Riley Hicklin MNSU Senior If you would have told me four years ago that I would be preparing for life as a Catholic missionary, I wouldn’t have believed you. But this idea alone tells me how much God has transformed my heart in these years. I came in to my freshman year of college feeling lost, confused about my identity. I was living for the world and the college culture. I grew up as a cradle catholic, and I didn’t know what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus until I encountered FOCUS. I remember vividly the first time I encountered FOCUS missionaries my freshman year on campus. After speaking with them and knowing their joy, I spent that whole afternoon in a coffee shop downtown researching everything I could about being a FOCUS missionary. I saw their love for God, and I wanted to live that way too. Over the next four years, I dove into the adventure of living for Christ, growing in fellowship through bible studies, prayer, discipleship, and the sacraments. This past fall I felt that tug on my heart to apply for FOCUS, and I remembered that day in the coffee shop over four years ago. I knew that God had been planning this journey for me all along, transforming my life through encountering others and revealing to me my identity in Him. Now I have the opportunity to show other students the same light that changed my life forever. SUMMER 2018 9

By Kailee Weyenberg & Michael Spielvogel, MNSU Seinors Sometimes, God goes to extreme circumstances to help us understand who He truly is and who He desires us to be; Guatemala was no exception. Michael and I signed up for the trip on a whim, with no idea how we were going to afford the cost, no idea if it would work into our schedules, and no idea what the trip even entailed. But with trust in Him, everything fell into place and we found ourselves driving to the airport at 1:00 am, exhausted and not sure what was coming next. As we set eyes on the stunning Guatemala mountains below the airplane, a piece of my heart knew God had something beautiful in store for us there. Little did we know that God was to reveal the Body of Christ in a new way to us and give us a new mission to bring home. We began our stay with a children’s mass that surpassed what we knew to be a warm welcome from the San Lucas community. As we ventured through our week of prayer and service, we began to understand what poverty truly means. But it’s not the kind of poverty we imagined. We were given a glimpse of the material poverty that exists in Guatemala, but more importantly, the spiritual poverty that exists in our own hearts and in our day-to-day lives. We realized how burdened and distracted we were by our own possessions, and how they prevented us from being who we were meant to be. This realization demonstrated something more profound about the Body of Christ and how we are to function as members of that Body. We came to understand that the Body of Christ desperately needs each part to truly be the Body of Christ. Unfortunately, many travelers, including ourselves, from first world countries enter mission with the understanding that we are going to help others, when in reality, we were brought together with those from miles away to give each other a part of our Savior we needed. 10

By Maddison Hajek MNSU Junior This past spring, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to St. Lucia with a group of college students through the organization FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). It is within this beautiful country that my mission team and I served God’s people at numerous locations. I specifically got to work with high school students at Castries Secondary School, women with disabilities at the Missionaries of Charity Home, and the elderly and sick at St. Lucy’s Home. Most of my time was simply spent talking and praying with these joyous people. One of my most dear memories was praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet with the beautiful ladies at the Missionaries of Charity Home. Hearing their delicate voices sing praises to God despite all their pain was truly life changing. Throughout this mission trip, God showed me to never doubt Him. Amidst all my fears and struggles of being in a third world country, the Lord showed me I can trust in Him and His goodness. It is within these encounters of the people of St. Lucia that I truly met Jesus Christ, our Savior, and learned how present He is in this world. There is nothing more joyful than giving your life to Christ, and I truly experienced this during my time in St. Lucia. SUMMER 2018 11

S enior year was probably my easiest year. Not because the classes I took weren’t hard, but because I found that through prayer, things became easier. Before I started coming to the Newman Center, I found myself being very anxious, nervous, and stressed out all the time for school. Studying for tests was never easy, but I found out that if I threw an hour of prayer into that mix of studying, I could just remember the information better, I was able to keep my mind on track, and studying became easier. I wish I would have found the Newman Center right away in my college career. The skills that I learned from everyone there I will never lose. In my five years of schooling, I cannot think of a time better than when I was with people from the Newman Center. Life after I have been super excited to go out into the work force doing something I love. Being a Computer Engineer has been something I wanted to do since I first discovered Robotics 10 years ago during high school. Even though it is something I am so passionate about, it doesn’t mean I don’t worry about where my life will take me. That is where my prayer life has been my backbone this past year. I know that when I enter the chapel, God is there to listen, he is there to answer my questions, and to hear what is on my mind. Going into the “real world” seems so distant, or tough, your mind can just get filled with “what if’s” and you become very unsure of yourself. But having the faith of knowing that everything you are doing is a part of Gods will, you will live a much healthier life. Finding an hour to talk with Jesus, seemed like a chore; but now I know that giving up one hour that I was playing games, or taking a nap, is so much more rewarding and comforting. 12 Life after Graduation By Garten Haeska, MNSU Graduate

5:30 pm Featured Keynote Trent Horn from Call 507-387-4154 for more information! EVENT TIMES 1:00 pm: Registration 1:30 PM: Shotgun Start 5:30 pm: Social Hour 6:15 pm: Dinner, Program & Prizes Early bird discount $100/person, $400 foursome if registered by June 30th. $125/person, $500 foursome if registered after June 30th. Can’t Golf With us ? You can still enjoy social hour, dinner & program.$35 perperson. Must be paid in advance. Catholic The Mavs PUTT WITH PADRE Registration Name: ______________________________________________ Company: ___________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________ City: _____________________ State: _________ Zip: ________ Phone: ___________________________________________ Email: ____________________________________________ Sign up as a foursome or individually. List your team members including yourself. If you do not have a full team, we will place you. 1. _______________________________________________ 2. _______________________________________________ 3. _______________________________________________ 4. _______________________________________________ Social Hour & Dinner Only ____ x $35 = ___________ Total amount enclosed: ________________________ (Make check payable to St. Thomas More Newman Center) Send to STM Newman Center 1502 Warren St. Mankato, MN 56001 Thank you for your support OR Charge my card Visa Discover MasterCard Card# ___________________ Expires __________________ CSC (3 digits) _____________ OR register & pay by Phone: 507-387-4154 Online: www.catholicmavs.org Interested in being a sponsor? Please contact Anna Weidner at 507-387-4154 or anna.weidner@mnsu.edu JULY 20th, 2018FRIDAY

Catholic The 1502 Warren Street Mankato, MN 56001 Mavs www.catholicmavs.org (507) 387-4154 Follow us ONLINE www.facebook.com/catholicmavs Newman Center STAFF Fr. Andrew Vogel Pastor frapvogel@gmail.com Joe Bakken Director of Campus Ministry joseph.bakken@mnsu.edu Michael Mortenson FOCUS Team Director michael.mortenson@focus.org Laura Kopp FOCUS Missionary laura.kopp@focus.org Alison Anderson FOCUS Missionary alison.anderson@focus.org Andrew Heller FOCUS Missionary andrew.heller@focus.org Ashley Soukup FOCUS Missionary ashley.soukup@focus.org Phil Stone Director of Development phil.stone@mnsu.edu Anna Weidner Buisness Administrator anna.weidner@mnsu.edu Alek Mitchell FOCUS Missionary alek.mitchell@foucs.org “Students want to be challenged to live the impossible; because they now know the impossible is possible with Jesus and Mary. They inspire me to be more holy, draw closer to Christ, and to live a life immersed in the love of Christ and our Blessed Mother.” - Fr. Andrew Vogel

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