Catholic center benefits Topeka

During its 40th year, the Catholic Campus Center continues to offer services to Catholic Students, and non-catholic students while helping the community.

Though their focus is on continued education, the Catholic Campus Center is there to “meet the spiritual needs of the students on campus,” said Patti Lyon, director of the Catholic Campus Center.

The Center is a catholic ministry for the faculty, staff and students of Washburn. The center also serves as a student organization.

“[We] provide classes on Catholicism as well as provide service opportunities for students,” said Lyon.

The Catholic Campus Center helped last year with the Giving Tree, H2O project and worked with the Soles for Souls project. They also started the giving tree project during the Christmas season of 2002 to benefit the needy children of Topeka.

Specifically, the project’s purpose is to get other student organizations to put up trees in their offices to help collect gifts for children whose parents can’t afford them.

“Last year we were able to put up trees in the campus ministry, the Living Learning Center, Washburn Village, Multicultural Affairs offices, and the Washburn Student Government Association offices,” said Lyon.

“Part of the reason for the giving tree was so that the campus does not feel divided, choosing which student organization they wish to help,” said Errin Thompson, junior.

The Catholic Campus Center is involved in special events including having a float during the parade for homecoming and tailgating at the game.

On their 40th anniversary in October they will have the priest that officiated the initial mass 40 years ago, come back to say mass again.

One of the benefits to the Center for students is that the ministry and student aspects are separate.

“Interaction with the University is completely depending on the actions of student officers…We have to submit funding requests, certain aspects only the students can do…really felt like being an officer was meaningful,” said Thompson    

“Mainly for Catholics, but open to all students regardless of faith or Christian denomination, anyone can come if they wish,” said Mack Sloan, a Washburn student.

“The Catholic Campus Center helped me become more confident…it helped me get more involved not only in this organization but also others,” said Peyton Sloan outreach officer for the Center

The Center is open to all students, while at the same time balancing its catholic origins.