On Sunday, Feb. 14, prospective students came to Loras for the annual Campus Ministry Overnight. Current Duhawks involved in Campus Ministry organizations gathered to meet these students and participate in fun activities before hosting them overnight.
Starting at 4 p.m. the students arrived for fun games including human bingo and a brief video that showed many of the organizations and activities associated with Campus Ministry. Once everyone had arrived, the entire group went to Mass in Christ the King Chapel.
Later that night, the students were put into small groups led by current Duhawks. As a group activity, they made colorful fleece tie-blankets which will be donated during the three spring service trips. In their groups, they also discussed what the students were worried and excited about concerning college, as well as goals for their futures. Current students were able to calm their fears and increase their excitement by sharing favorite personal experiences during their time at Loras. A student panel also answered questions submitted by those on the overnight. These questions asked about the Campus Ministry program, faith life on campus, other organizations, residence halls, places to visit in Dubuque, and why the students chose Loras.
“Our Loras students are so committed to Campus Ministry and the future of Loras College as they set aside a whole night to hang out, pray with, and host these prospective students,” sophomore and student coordinator Nicole Connelly said. “It’s such a gift for current Loras students to help the prospective ones with their college discernment process.”
Many students who volunteered for the overnight were reminded of their first experiences when they visited Loras as juniors and seniors in high school.
“It was really interesting being on the other side because I was in their shoes two years ago when I was a senior in high school,” sophomore Caitlin Hansen said. “It was really fun to be able to show the prospective students everything I love about Loras.”
Other activities from the night included praise and worship music and adoration in Christ the King Chapel. Afterwards, they
were given the opportunity to partake in swing dancing in the Beckman basement, watch movies or play games in Rohlman Hall, or relax with their hosts in their rooms.
The following day, the high schoolers were able to take a tour of campus or go to a class with a current student. Afterwards, another panel was held to answer any other questions they had before driving back home.
“I think what impresses me most about the CM Overnight is how quickly the bonds between the prospective Duhawks and current Duhawks form,” Connelly said. “It’s amazing to see strangers become friends instantly because of the shared element of the Catholic faith.”
Campus Minister Debbie Gross was full of compliments about the success of the overnight.
“I was so impressed by the team of Duhawks that came together to plan and put on a great night for our guests,” Gross said. “They had a great mix of games, food, a panel, group discussion, and prayer. I really appreciate all the time and energy that they put into making it such a great experience for the prospective Duhawks.”