MOSAIC Spring 2017 | Page 36

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Companions seminarians receive their intellectual formation at Sacred Heart , shown here at their monastery on the grounds of St . Scholastica Parish .
“ Most people think they ’ re doing just fine ,” Father Scherrey explains . “ In some ways , your heart has to be on fire . Being a Catholic is not something to do — it ’ s something you are . You ’ re called to live it . If you ’ re not living it , you ’ re not really being Catholic .”
Reaching Out to College Students
Similarly , the Companions work with Wayne State students has centered on “ intentional discipleship ,” says Fr . Jim Lowe , CC , the university ’ s Catholic chaplain . He and Fr . John Fletcher , CC , staff the Newman Catholic Center in the student center on campus .
In addition to celebrating daily and Sunday Mass and hearing confessions , the Companions use the campus ministry to lead students to a personal encounter with Christ . “ You ’ re forming disciples so they can go out and make disciples themselves ,” Father Lowe says . “ It ’ s telling ordinary students that they can go out in their ordinary lives and encounter other ordinary students , and they can evangelize , lead them into an encounter with Christ themselves .”
The Companions are currently taking about forty students through the Catholic Christian Outreach Faith Studies series . Each of the five levels takes six weeks to complete , and then the Companions invite students to move on and help lead the next session .
Father Lowe says students are also encouraged to discover their own charisms . “ People have gifts of the Holy Spirit that are given to them by God . Unless they ’ re
“ Sacred Heart ’ s focus on the New Evangelization lines up perfectly with the Companions ’ charism .”
given opportunities to exercise those in the Church , they may never discover them .”
Case in point : One day while Father Lowe was in the Newman Center chapel placing the new crucifix , a student came to stand beside him and admire it . Leya Maliekal then began telling him about her desire to go into the streets and work with the homeless . He asked her to write a report and , as a result , a group of students traveled with Father Lowe to John Carroll University in Ohio to learn about the Labre Project and begin the ministry at Wayne State .
“ Every other Friday , we make food and go out into the streets ,” says Leya , a sophomore . “ Already , we know people ’ s names . It feels like a mutual friendship .”
She adds that the
Companions try to get to know all students in a non-pressuring way . “ Father Jim loves to talk , and he loves to listen ,” Leya says . “ He allows people to see that he ’ s there for them , and when they ’ re ready for the next step , he ’ s there to guide them .”
Active in the Community
Each Sunday , the Companions ’ seminarians are assigned to parishes the community is associated with — which besides St . Scholastica and the Wayne State Newman Center includes Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth , where one of the Companion priests often assists . After serving in the sanctuary during Mass , the seminarians participate in a ministry of “ presence and fellowship ,” says Daniel Ramos , who is in his second year of Sacred Heart ’ s pre-theology program .
“ We try to get to know more of the parishioners on a personal level ,” he explains .
Father Scherrey confirms that the seminarians ’ presence at each Sunday ’ s Mass at St . Scholastica is valuable . “ Our congregation loves the seminarians ,” he says . “ They really touch the hearts of the people .”
The experience of living in Detroit has not been void of opportunities for the men studying a Sacred Heart . The seminarians serve at soup kitchens and in prison ministry , assist with retreats , participate in pro-life events , and give talks at parishes on topics like evangelization and the charismatic renewal . These experiences complement their academic formation , according to the seminarians .
“ Studying the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart and then applying what I ’ ve learned in concrete pastoral contexts has helped me to become both a better student and a better minister ,” says Alex Colautti , who is completing his fourth year of study at the seminary and preparing for diaconal ordination later this year .
Bonds of Brotherhood
Seminarians for the Companions comprise nearly twenty percent of the men studying for the priesthood at Sacred Heart . Although they live in community at St . Scholastica and are only at the seminary for academic formation , the men have formed bonds with their classmates working toward ordination to the priesthood for Detroit and other dioceses and religious communities .
“ We all share a love of the Lord and a desire to give our lives completely over to him ,” says Isaac Longworth , who is in his second year at Sacred Heart . He and his fellow Companions spend time with fellow students outside of the classroom setting , such as at basketball games , prayer meet-
34 Sacred Heart Major Seminary | Mosaic | Spring 2017