Campus Ministry: A Home Away From Home

By Anish Sundar ’20, Noah Fernandes ’20 and Maanas Oruganti ’18

Amidst the stress, distractions, and hardships that one might experience at Bellarmine, Campus Ministry welcomes students and offers them their full support. Ms. Missy Scott-Florez, (a.k.a Ms. ScoFlo), Ms. Cindy Bailey, Ms. Erika Franey, Fr. Mario Prietto, S.J., and Mr. Kenny Van Tilburg lead Campus Ministry presence by exemplifying and teaching the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm, or IPP. This learning cycle was created to imitate the ways of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The five steps to this cycle consist of Context, Experience, Reflection, Action, and Self-Evaluation.

“Campus ministry is really about helping to serve our students and our whole community to grow in faith, and to grow an understanding of a faith that grows justice,” Ms. ScoFlo said. “It’s a place to provide spaces for people to have experiences of God and to see how God is at work in our lives.”

Ms. ScoFlo, and Campus Ministry as a whole, found success through changes around campus that have helped Campus Ministry to create a tight-knit bond amongst the Bellarmine Community.

Two years ago, they moved from first floor O’Donnell to the first floor in the Student Life Center. This move into the intersection of Bellarmine campus helped them to make their presence and influence felt more among the student body.

“It was really wonderful to be in a space where we get to see students more, and get to interact, serve, and companion them in an everyday way,” said Mrs. Sco-Flo.

Mrs. Sco-Flo credits a majority of their success to the entire Bellarmine community for their willingness to step up and take on any tasks that they see they can help with.

“We could not do without our faculty and staff, every single person here is an example of a person living their faith every person is an example of that,” Ms. ScoFlo said.

She also acknowledges a special student-led group of underclassmen called “Compañeros.”

“Compañeros,” or companions, are inspired by the first group of the Jesuit order who surrounded St. Ignatius and called themselves “companions.”

“This is a group of Freshmen and Sophomores to come together to help create and lead liturgy, retreats and other events,” Ms. ScoFlo said.

Mr. Van Tilburg also elaborated on the importance of Campus Ministry and the organization’s service to the student population. He states how the role of Campus Ministry is to provide guidance and a gateway for students throughout their own personal life, their faith journey, and in their emotional lives.

“It is an aspect that helps enliven the spiritual and religious side of Bellarmine,” Mr. Van Tilburg concluded.

Campus Ministry also plays a big role in the Bellarmine community through their retreat program.

“Campus Ministry leads the freshman retreat, sophomore retreat, and Kairos, through which they develop close connections and relationships with Bellarmine students,”

Mr. Van Tilburg further noted, “We aim to strengthen trust, community, and mentorship for all Bellarmine students throughout their journey and experiences. To be able to offer liturgies and masses that get to know the students at Bellarmine is truly great.”

He described Campus Ministry as a service which is open to all and serves as a support system for Bellarmine students regarding their own spiritual life and experiences or troubles.

At the very end of the day, Mr. Van Tillburg summarized how it’s Campus Ministry that “allows students to be open to the experience and to not allow previous experiences to dictate what is currently happening in your own life.”