By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published January 23, 2020
CARROLLTON—The Catholic community at the University of West Georgia is working to “realize the dream.”
Campus Catholics at the University of West Georgia (UWG) is keeping its momentum after a successful #iGiveCatholic campaign last year, exceeding the goal of $15,000 for a Catholic center on the Carrollton campus. This was the first time the ministry participated in the annual day of giving.
This “has been a clear reminder that the seemingly impossible mission of building the Catholic Center at UWG is truly possible,” said Norma Rothschadl, campus minister at the university since August of 2019.
For many years, students were told about a campus ministry, but nothing transpired. Now, with a new energy and student support, it may soon be within reach.
So far, more than $250,000 has been raised towards the building. There is more to do, such as planning the building and finances—much of which relies on the arrival of a new archbishop.
The group continues to raise awareness and gain support by updating its Facebook page and spreading the word to neighboring parishes and communities.
“We really want it to happen for our kids,” said Rothschadl.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Carrollton is the home parish for the campus ministry, sitting roughly eight miles from the campus. In addition to not having a designated space for gatherings, the distance of the parish from the school creates additional challenges for the group.
However, the ministry is making the most of what it has—including gatherings at a local pub, having Holy Hour at the Kennedy Chapel on campus or participating in “Cafeteria Catholics,” where students meet in the dining hall and have lunch together. There is also an advisory board to help initiate efforts and engage students.
With the canonization of St. John Henry Newman in October of last year, Rothschadl sees it as a sign to not give up on the dream of a new space for students. Newman Centers on non-Catholic college campuses are named in honor of Cardinal John Henry Newman and inspired by his writings.
Rothschadl envisions the proposed center as an “intellectual and spiritual home for students,” providing a space for them, a place to serve the poor and host conferences and ecumenical services.
Fundraisers continue for the building, including a gala on Feb. 29 at Lion Hills Vineyard in Bremen. There will be a live auction, raffle, dinner and dancing at the fundraising event.
“We really felt strongly that we had to do something,” said Rothschadl, who is thankful for God’s many signs to continue efforts for the ministry. “When people are involved, they are more passionate about the mission.”
For tickets to the gala, contact Norma Rothschadl at 770-832-8977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.