Louis Cona, a student at Georgetown University, recently shared his perspective on how to evangelize at college and spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society about the opportunities and difficulties he has encountered living the faith on campus.
In his four-part list entitled “A Catholic Student’s 4 Ways to Evangelize a College Campus” published by Saint Peter’s List, Cona first emphasizes the importance of beauty. Beauty is able “to galvanize the heart and mind in ways in which other forms of evangelization are incapable,” he explains in the piece. Cona explains how recapturing the beauty of the Mass and showing it to young people can inspire them to seek the Church.
Secondly, Cona emphasizes how important it is to “witness through life and a community of friends.” He states that joy “shared amongst young men and women who are living their faith in a culture that is hostile to it is perhaps one of the greatest and most powerful witnesses to the Gospel.”
He concludes his list by reflecting on the importance of properly articulating Church teaching and the power of charitable works.
Cona also told the Newman Society about the aspects of his faith that have had the greatest impact on him throughout his years at Georgetown. “Developing friendships rooted in Christ, a liberal arts education, and becoming active in various clubs such as the Knights of Columbus has helped me to develop and sustain my faith during my time at college,” he explained. Cona also wrote another list called “4 Ways to Save Your Soul on a College Campus” in which he stresses the importance of a liberal arts education.
Cona told the Newman Society that students at Catholic colleges should take advantage of the opportunity “to regularly attend daily Mass [and] adoration” and to become involved in various charities. Additionally, students “can take classes on Catholic social teaching, theology, and philosophy.” He observed that on a Catholic campus, students will “have the excuse to read and learn about the Church and receive credit for it.” Cona hopes “that students take advantage of the spiritual and intellectual tools at their disposal” because they “will become the foundation of their faith life for years to come.”
College can also be a difficult time for students to lead faithful lives, even on a Catholic campus. Cona stated:
Students are constantly bombarded with countless choices, temptations, and voices which pull them in all sorts of directions. It is natural for students to feel overwhelmed. Only our faith provides us with a sure path. We can trust that the Church will not lead us astray, but rather illumines our lives and gives us certainty and direction amidst our relativistic culture.
Cona has experienced these difficulties firsthand. “Students who defend the Church, especially her teachings on life and marriage, face scorn and ridicule,” he observed. “I certainly have faced this myself both in and out of the classroom,” Cona told the Newman Society.
Additionally, he said, many students and Catholics “do not have a proper understanding of what the Church teaches and why,” which is why the Church’s teachings are so often misunderstood. For this reason, Cona believes it is important to “have patience with those around us, especially those who attack the Church.”
“Pray, develop friendships, and never tire of being a joyful witness to Christ,” Cona said. “The witness of joyful young people who live out their faith and defend the Church is so powerful.”
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.