Student Reflection: Campus Ministry has shaped me

By Elizabeth Killian, senior in the College of Education

Throughout my four years at Marquette, I have spent a lot of time in Campus Ministry. I also worked at the Center for Peacemaking on campus and in the Hartman Literacy and Learning Center in Schroeder Complex.

I’ve been involved in CAMPus Impact, a service organization focused on serving the community, which allowed me to experience all that Milwaukee has to offer and build relationships with community members. As a New Yorker, I never would have expected to love Milwaukee as much as I do, and most of that stems from the joy I have found through Marquette.

“All of these experiences have impacted me greatly, but I would be lying if I said that Campus Ministry did not help shape me into the person I am today.”

My first experience at Marquette was the Ignatian Leadership Retreat, a retreat for first-year students before orientation. It was a place where I was able to be myself, meet friends for life and learn from others — all while finding peace, joy and happiness.

Through Campus Ministry, I have been blessed with many impactful moments. One of which was the Salt and Light Retreat that I attended my freshmen year. I happened to be the only first-year student surrounded by many upperclassmen. This gave me the opportunity to really take the time to listen to the upperclassmen’s experiences and learn from them while reflecting on my short-lived college experience before entering sophomore year.

Another impactful journey for me has been participating in several Marquette Action Program (M.A.P.) spring break trips. I’ve traveled to to Oklahoma, Nashville and Kansas City, Missouri. I was able to both be a participant and a facilitator, and it was through M.A.P. that I learned various lessons from other students on the trip and all those with whom we had the chance to work.

I’ve said, and will always say, that my favorite part about Marquette is the sense of community, and the 10 p.m. Mass at St. Joan of Arc Chapel radiates that for me. There have been countless times where Mass ends but we don’t start walking home for another hour or so, simply because there were so many of us who just wanted to stay and talk, catch up, laugh and continue to foster the beautiful community that was present at Mass.

One more impactful moment for me was attending the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice this past November. The teach-in is an annual gathering of students from various Jesuit institutions across the country to honor the lives of the Salvadoran martyrs and to discuss and address modern justice issues day. This event gave me more motivation than I could have ever imagined to stand-up for injustice and empower my future students to do the same.

These few moments are just small parts of the greater impact Campus Ministry and Marquette has had on me these past four years.

When I first came to Milwaukee, I never would have thought that I would be so involved and spend so much of my time in Campus Ministry, but it helped me grow in ways I never would have expected and blessed me with friendships that will last forever. I am so lucky and grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to not only express my faith, but to share faith-filled experiences with fellow Marquette students.