Liberty University is the school started in 1971 by Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell. It is described as an independent fundamentalist Baptist college.
I was very pleased, therefore to hear from a student at Liberty telling me about a group he has started called Catholics at Liberty. Chris was good enough to write these few words for the blog about his story and his work there.
It is hard to believe that I have been a student at Liberty University for two and a half years now. And that this May I will be graduating! I transferred to Liberty after my freshman year because I wanted to study for the Baptist Ministry. After being at Liberty only a few months I soon realized what I was missing in my life was the Eucharist!
It was then that I joined RCIA at Holy Cross Catholic Church. It was during this year that I lost all of my friends at school (except my roommates and one other friend). It was Easter of 2007 that I came into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church!
After going through what I did my first year, I knew I couldn’t be the only Catholic (even though I thought I was). So my second year there, I started a facebook group and looked up all the people who had “Catholic” on their religious views and added them as a friend (whether they were future students, current students or alumni). The group grew to over 50.
From that facebook group, there were two students that I gave rides to mass every week. One of the students was from Peru and hadn’t been to mass for six years. It was Psalm Sunday of 2008 that he was able to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist for the first time in six years!!!
During the summer of my junior and senior year, I started to pray for someone to step up and take this ministry over when I graduate, and I also prayed for the intercession of Jerry Falwell to help this ministry grow. Well, just after 2 weeks into my senior year, we grew to six students, and have been growing ever since!
Throughout this semester, I have seen God work in many different ways! I have seen some students struggle with their faith, but then truly find their faith! I’ve seen students return to the Church after many years of being away! And I have seen many students that where very anti-Catholic become very interested in the Church!
Every Sunday the students have a way to get to mass. We also have a weekly dinner at a restaurant on campus. And we do many more things like: cook-outs, prayer groups and a weekend trips!
With my last semester approaching quickly, I have decided to step down as the leader of this group. In January, we will be holding elections for a full leadership team, and we will be creating a constitution and are now in the process of getting this group approved by Liberty!!! The main reason why this group was started is because I wanted the Catholic students to have the chance to make it to mass and receive the Sacraments. Also so that they know they are not the only Catholic at LU. As we begin next semester, we have around 20 Catholic Students that are involved and over 50 students that we are in contact with (this is not counting our growing non-Catholic group that is involved)!
Please pray for the Catholics at Liberty and this ministry! God bless, Chris Osgood