Catholic Campus Center introduces new priest to campus

The Catholic Campus Center’s new chaplain, Jonathan Dizon, joins students for dinner at Sunday’s kick-off barbecue.

Katie Wade

The Catholic Campus Center celebrated Mass, followed by a barbecue to kickoff the new school year Aug. 16 where new students met CCC members and toured the center’s house on the corner of 17th and Jewell. Students also were introduced to the new Catholic chaplain assigned to Washburn, Jonathan Dizon.campus.

Dizon received two assignments after he was ordained in May 2015: the first at Most Pure Heart of Mary as the associate pastor and the second at the Catholic Campus Center at Washburn. According to Patti Lyon, director and campus minister at CCC, Dizon is the first chaplain assigned specifically to CCC in well over 12 years.

Dizon met with Lyon and student officers at CCC over the summer, but Sunday’s barbecue was the first time he had interacted with the larger group of students. While he expected about 20 students to come to the event, 40 to 50 arrived.

“It’s really fun to be around young people,” Dizon said. “It makes me feel young.”

Lyon hopes that having a chaplain on campus will open up opportunities for both men and women of the Catholic community at Washburn.

Both Dizon and Lyon agree that this will bring a sense of continuity to the organization. In the past, priests from around the community would come in to give the Mass, but having Dizon on campus means that there is an opportunity for a relationship between students and their chaplain.

“I guess this sets that dynamic where you have someone that you can really relate to,” Dizon said. “And the other part of it too is there’s a whole new opportunity for things they haven’t had before, like theology and spiritual direction.”

The center has plans for engaging with students at Washburn this year through events such as Random Acts of Kindness and The Giving Tree. They also plan to introduce a lunch table where students can eat with Dizon and Lyon in the Union Market every first and third Tuesday.

“We will sit there during lunchtime,” Lyon said. “So that students can come in and have conversation and lunch. It’s just nice to have that presence on campus.”

Dizon is excited to get into his routine with CCC and engage with students now that there is this opportunity for more one-on-one time.

“This is a critical point in their lives,” Dizon said, “Because they are trying to build their own identity defined by what kind of contribution they want to leave on society. It’s really important for them to realize their Catholic identity is a big part of establishing that identity.”