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Catholic Living Community creates a new culture on campus 

Catholic Living Community creates a new culture on campus 

This fall, a group of students has formed their own living community on campus and are integrating their faith into their school experience. In the spring 2023 semester, there were talks of the group’s formation, and now it has been realized. Leadership feels that it is great for campus culture and has high expectations for what the Catholic Living Community can bring to campus.  

 

The community is housed in Canticle and consists of 15 students. Emilio Alvarez, Director of Campus Ministry, is helping to oversee the group as they began to live together in August. While he currently has a prominent role in the community’s operation, he hopes that the students will be able to become self-sufficient once leadership roles are established.  

 

As a new group, there had to be some rapport building before they could start living together. The first group activity was a retreat over Labor Day weekend. He stressed, “What the students voiced at the Labor Day retreat expectations was to be there for one another.”  

 

Alvarez said the goal was to “Build community, and then try to map out what the rest of the year would be.” They were able to plan in weekly activities such as prayers and community service events and monthly event hosted by campus ministry. “We’ve had some learning experiences in the first few months and now we’re trying to implement ways in which the group can grow closer together,” Alvarez said.  

 

The group emphasizes inclusivity, and many of the students in the Catholic Living Community are not even Catholic. “We have about half the group that are Catholic, and then the other half identify as Christian,” said Alvarez. What is more important is the culture that is created by the members of the group.  

 

Alvarez emphasized, “It’s [for] anyone who is willing to kind of explore their faith a little bit more, to live in a community with some intentional guidelines towards Christian living.” That culture is built on service for others and Viterbo’s core values. “We want to be something that our students can look towards, as a place of support.” 

 

One of those supportive projects has been their prayer request service. Students can scan the QR code below and submit a prayer intention or request for the CLC to pray for. They have also helped provide meals for students that could not go home during Thanksgiving. The kitchen they have used is in the newly renovated Thea Bowman Center, as are much of their operations. 

 

Alvarez said, “If there’s any needs that arise, we are more than willing to provide services or help to anybody.” The emphasis on upholding values and sustaining culture is helping the group continue operating at a high level. “We see how busy the college student is. And when time is made to prioritize the community aspect of students’ lives, things become better.” 

 

Alvarez is confident this project can stem into more opportunities for students, “It’s a pilot; it might lead to other living communities starting off in the future.” What remains to be seen is how students can take initiative in creating their own intentional living community.  

 

As the semester comes wraps up, Alvarez and other members of leadership are looking to formalize the next semester before it starts. He said, “There’s a group that I’m really trying to identify leadership within the CLC group too, so that this can be a really student run thing… when we come back in January, we’ll hit the ground running.”  

 

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Noah Nelson, Editor
I’m the Editor for the Lumen. My major is Sports Management and Leadership with an English Writing minor, and I also compete for the Men’s Golf team.
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