Viterbo welcomes new student housing program to foster Catholic faith


Heidi Kloostra

Tessa Arenz, the future RA for the Catholic Living Community in front of Canticle Apartments.

Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

A new student community program will soon be entering Viterbo in the form of Catholic Community Housing. Sister Laura Nettles has been working with Resident Life, and the program is beginning a soft launch next semester.  


Community housing is not a new concept. Universities across the country often have these types of programs, but Viterbo is welcoming a new one in the form of Catholic Community Housing. Sister Laura Nettles discusses her involvement in the group as well as more of what the group will be doing.  


Sister Laura has been working closely with Residence Life to organize this new program, and in Fall 2023 the first group of students will have their community housing space in Canticle. There will be 16 spaces, and community members will actively participate in meetings and prayer.  


This community group has been in the works for a few years now. According to Sister Laura, “It’s something we’ve talked about at Viterbo for a while now, having these multiple group options. This just seemed like a perfect opportunity to try a soft launch as Catholic students or students that want to live and learn as a Catholic.” 


Other community events will also take place throughout the school year. There will be a Labor Day retreat in the fall, a service project each semester, and monthly community nights with Campus Ministry. More information can be found on the Viterbo website by searching “Catholic Community Living.” 


With the hire of Matt Jurvelin, Residence Life is in a position to provide students and the Viterbo community with programs that they’ve been wanting to implement for a while. Now that Jurvelin has been working for a year and other members of Residence Life have had more time to plan this group, Catholic Community Housing has finally come together. Sister Laura stressed that this was not taking rooms away from other students, stating, “It’s just clustering, and these students are living on campus already.” Other examples can be found around campus as well, with most of the athletes “clustered” in their own areas.  


She also emphasized that they are not receiving additional funding from the university, stating, “I’ve heard some rumors that we’re getting a lot of money for this. We’re not at all.” She went on to encourage other groups of students to form their own community housing groups, saying, “If another group of students wanted to get together around, say, the environment, and formed an environmental living community, all they have to do is reach out to Matt. Start the conversation.” 


This is the newest community group at Viterbo University, and by next fall, it will be a reality. It has been a long process in its creation but is finally being implemented. Students are no longer able to sign up, but are encouraged to start their own groups to create a greater community at our university.