“It is like a mustard seed that, when sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on
the Earth. But once sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth
large branches, so the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” — Mark 4: 31-32
We all know the analogy that faith is like a mustard seed. Once planted in the heart, even a tiny spark of faith can grow and yield fruit beyond measure. One of the priorities that came out of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2021-2024 strategic plan “Created Anew,” is nurturing those seeds of faith through Evangelization.
They define it as forming a band of joyful missionary disciples. That resonated with us. That’s exactly what the Newman Center does. Within these walls and the hearts of those who come here, go out across campus, and eventually venture across our state, we plant seeds of faith.
Those seeds may be as simple as sharing a meal and laughter during a Wednesday Night Supper with a non-Catholic friend. They can be another UMaine student stumbling across a YouTube video where one of our Black Bear Catholic students shares a reflection on their faith.
Seeds can also be an invitation from one of our FOCUS Missionaries to attend a weeknight Bible Study. They can also come from a friend to find a quiet place to study in our space. Once here, students are invited into a relationship with Jesus, in a non-pressured environment where they can take their burgeoning faith at their own pace.
“We find students wherever they are,” notes FOCUS missionary Matt Leffel, “We invite them to the Newman Center and a relationship with Jesus. We teach them to pray. For those really excited about it with a desire to share their faith, we teach them. We give them the tools to go out and invite others to come to know Jesus as well.”
We feel blessed to watch our students nurture their own faith and help their fellow students come to know Jesus. Then, as they take a stronger relationship with Christ with them into the next chapter of their lives.
– Father Kyle