Preaching God’s Unchanging Love on Campus
The Dominican Friars are preaching the truth of Jesus Christ at Dartmouth, Brown, UVA, NYU, Johns Hopkins, and American University as campus chaplains. BlackFriars spoke with NYU Catholic Center chaplain Fr. Sebastian White, O.P., about his ministry, which has led many students to enter the Catholic Church or return to the Sacraments.
How do you see your role at NYU?
The Catholic Center at NYU exists to help students know Jesus Christ and understand their true purpose, which is to live and love eternally with God. NYU is considered a top school, but if there were no Catholic priest here, the students would be missing the most important part of their formation as human beings. Our motto is taken from the Scripture: “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom. 12:2).
What is the main challenge to campus ministry today?
The mentality of our culture orders everything to serve the self, even the begetting of children, who are often raised to fit their parents’ lifestyle and affirm their self-image. Many kids who get into elite universities have experienced some form of this. Students need much more than possessions and opportunities: they need love. Real love.
How are the friars meeting this challenge?
The Dominican Friars are able to share the truth of God’s love in a way that is compelling. I often tell students what I learned from Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.: God does not love you because you are good, but because He is good. God’s love for you doesn’t change. Sin can frustrate that in your life, but God doesn’t change, which is why, no matter what you do, you gain nothing by hiding from Him or not bringing your sins to Him. Progress in Christian Life is a deepening realization of the truth of God’s love for you, and being transformed by that love.
Your generosity gives friars like Fr. White the formation they need to evangelize on campus! Thank you!