Mountaineer Catholic's Quarterly Newsletter, Vol. III

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THE PASTOR'S DESK... Dear Mountaineer Catholic family,

Fr. Brian J. Crenwelge

Pastor of St. John's and Director of Campus Ministry

As we enter 2022, I am so thankful for all that our Lord has allowed to be accomplished at St. John University Parish through our campus ministry program under the direction of Mrs. Colleen Criste, our campus minister. I am so impressed daily by the witness of the students as they stop in the church to pray in between classes, as they volunteer copious amounts of times in order to plan a campus ministry event, as they continue to invite new friends to come to our events. I love hearing their voices and laughter coming from the Newman lounge as I work in my office. The more Newman Hall is filled with students, the more I am reminded of God’s work in our lives. Thank you for supporting Mountaineer Catholic both spiritually and financially. We are not able to foster the mission of Jesus Christ and His Church here on the campus of West Virginia University without your generous help. May God continue to enrich you as we embark on this new year, and may we always keep Him at the forefront of our hearts and minds.

VOL. III INSIDE THIS EDITION Campus Ministry * Pg. 2

Making Headlines! * Pg. 3

Seminarian Invasion * Pg. 4

Fall Camping Retreat * Pg. 6

In Christ and Mary,

Making a Difference * Pg. 7

Campus Ministry Campus Ministry "When I came in as a freshman during the pandemic, I was scared and alone. Everyone at St. John's welcomed me with kindness and love. Everyone here is a part of my family and make me a better Catholic." - Charlotte Vogler, Sophomore

What a fantastic, fun and full Fall Semester we've had! So many exciting things are happening at St. John's and Mountaineer Catholic we are just striving to keep up! We kicked off the semester with a Welcome Back BBQ, a Fall Camping Retreat, and a tailgate party to support our Mountaineers football team! Colleen Criste

Mountaineer Catholic Campus Ministry: Fr. Brian J. Crenwelge Fr. Philip Szabo Colleen Criste

To learn more about MOCA activities and events, join our Mountaineer Catholic GroupMe! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

In early October, we hosted 37 seminarians from Mount St. Mary's Seminary who visited our campus for a three-day evangelization effort. We also held a day-long retreat for young adults titled, "Encounter Love" featuring national speakers Lisa Cotter and Fr. Joe Freedy.

Director of Programs and Development for Campus Ministry

We held our first-ever "Barn Dance" in the Parish Center and took a chilly Winter Hike in Cooper's Rock State Forest. Over 75 students enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal prepared and served by Campus Ministry. We played Marshmallow Dodgeball, held outdoor movie nights and bonfires, Friday Night Jam Sessions, Game Nights, an evening picnic at Cheat Lake, snowtubing and Christmas Cookie decorating! I am so proud of and impressed by our students! They faithfully attend Daily Mass and Confession, weekly and overnight Adoration. They participate regularly in our MOCA activities. Their generosity and willingness to serve, to lend a hand whenever help is needed, is inspiring.

We may be biased, but our Campus Ministry team is convinced that we have the best students of any college campus! It is pure joy to be a part of this most important time in their lives! In Jesus' Name,

Colleen Criste We'd like to extend a very special thank you to student Claire Dolton who took our cover photo and faithfully attended events to provide many of the photos featured in this issue. Thank you, Claire! Pg. 2

Making Headlines! Making Headlines St. John's and Mountaineer Catholic is getting noticed! Our activities, events and staff received a lot of positive publicity in 2021! We were featured in news articles and online in the Catholic Spirit, Faith in WV, West Virginians for Life and seen on EWTN! To view whole stories please visit: and

"I started coming around Newman because it was a place for me to go in Morgantown when there was no other place I felt welcome. It's been a home away from home for me and brought me into contact with all of my favorite people. There's no other place I'd rather be." - Andrew Dean, Junior

One of our students, Adam Marquart, founded the Confraternity of St. Nicholas

Meeting Fr. Mike Schmitz in Denver, CO

Mountaineer Catholic students and parishioners were seen on EWTN participating in the March for Life in DC

MOCA Students with Colleen Criste meeting Bishop Brennan at the Annual Rose Dinner

Campus Ministry staff and student Katie Davis participated in the Golf Fore Life Charity golf tournament

Pg. 3

Seminarian Invasion Thirty-seven seminarians from Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD visited the campus of WVU in October. They went out two-by-two to bring the Light of Christ to students. Students were invited to ask questions, attend Mass, Confession, and Adoration, and to participate in activities at St. John's.

A seminarian answering a student's questions

Eucharistic Procession in front of Woodburn Hall

All-Day Adoration was made available in the Free Speech Circle across from the Mountainlair

Fr. Phillip Szabo talks with students outside the Mountainlair

Deacon Esteban Mallar, Seminarian Bryan Tedeschi, Deacon Jerry Andrews and Campus Minister Colleen Criste

Fr. Brian bringing Jesus to the streets of Morgantown Pg. 4

Fall Camping Retreat Fall Camping Retreat Blackwater Falls State Park Our much-anticipated Fall Camping Retreat at Blackwater Falls State Park was a huge success! Mass and Confession were offered daily, along with faith talks and plenty of fun! Some of this year's highlights were: Mass on the Mountain, hiking to Lindy Point, drinking "Cowboy Coffee", singing like Kermit the Frog around the campfire, and eating Carl's "Peach Lust" dessert.

Rachel Keifer, Maria Lacaria, Amelia Bard, Michela Dorsett, Katie Davis, Katelin Silva, and Charlotte Vogler help set up the women's tent

Fr. Szabo with the "Talking Football" teaching on the value of sacrifice

From left to right: Brendan Smith, Austin Smay, Adam Marquart, Reece Lopatka, Daniel Costello, Daniel Deal, Sam Rotsch, Fr. Szabo, Carl Starvaggi, Denzel Campbell, Seth Rinderle and James Simoneaux

Fr. Szabo celebrates Mass on the Mountain supported by Reece and Seth

Sam manages the grill while Carl, Austin and Reece offer moral support

Colleen taking in the view at Lindy Point

Rachel and Katie prep the cheeseburgers for lunch Pg. 6

Making a Difference

Making a Difference

What does Mountaineer Catholic mean to you as a student and officer, and how do you feel you can best serve as president of the student organization? "Mountaineer Catholic is more than just a club or mere student organization on WVU’s campus; it’s a community of faith that fosters spiritual nourishment, authentic friendships, and wholesome recreation. Mountaineer Catholic has offered me a “home away from home” in the truest sense. Newman Hall and St. John University Parish are filled daily with my closest friends and acquaintances – my brothers and sisters in Christ: men and women striving to live lives of virtue and encourage those they meet on campus to do the same. It’s remarkable just how different many of the students are – be it in their temperaments, hobbies, or areas of study – yet how easily bonds form through our common Catholic Faith and love for Jesus Christ. Reece Lopatka

Newman Club President

2021-2022 MOCA OFFICERS Martha Lacek, Vice President Blake Peluchette, Treasurer Katie Davis, Secretary

"Being able to participate in service projects with St. John's Mountaineer Catholic has given me the opportunity to put myself in other's shoes. I have had the chance to work with really awesome people inside and outside the community. I look forward to doing more in the Spring semester!" -Michela Dorsett

Michela Dorsett and Anthony Abrahamian head up the student-led Community Service Projects Team for MOCA

My position as an officer for the organization is nothing more than a title that acknowledges my commitment to the vision of the club – to be just another student on campus striving to evangelize and live like a fool for Christ. As president of Mountaineer Catholic, I need always remember that my stewardship of the position is not special; it’s a model that encourages us to be prayerful, counsel-seeking servants to both our friends and newcomers. We won’t always live in the vacuum of university life – the community we find ourselves in will change someday. But if we let the habits of fellowship, sacramental life, and prayer be instilled in us now, they’ll follow us wherever we go and bear fruit according to God’s Will." Glory to Jesus Christ, Reece Lopatka

FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students) The Fellowship of Catholic University Student's Missionaries are constantly striving to bring WVU students into faith-filled lives while they are attending college and inspire them to do the same for others through cultivating friendships and leading Bible studies. Their mission on this campus brings many of the students to our University Parish throughout the entire year! They are also looking for people who would be interested in supporting their mission financially on a monthly basis! Contact Denzel Campbell, the team director, by reaching out to the parish office! Pg. 7

Financial Support

Financial Support

Everything we do we do for the love of the students we serve. However, it is only made possible by the generous donations of our supporters. Campus Ministry depends on you! With a financial gift of $4,000, the students can go on retreat this Spring. $2,000 will help cover the cost of pizza, drinks and snacks. $1,000 will help purchase some much-needed sound equipment for our musicians. $500 will help with books and materials. Any amount is a blessing. Thank you for your continued support!

To donate directly to Campus Ministry please visit: Select GIVE, then select the "Donate" option From the Drop-Down Menu, choose "Campus Ministry Fund"

You may also mail a check using the enclosed envelope. Make the check out to: "St. John University Parish" and include "Campus Ministry" on the Memo Line MOCA Campus Ministry St. John University Parish 1481 University Ave. Morgantown, WV 26505 Phone: 304-296-8231 Ext. 12

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