Milwaukee Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hying reflected on challenges in the Catholic Church, youth involvement in it and prayer through scripture Tuesday night in a visit to Marquette’s campus.
Hying’s visit, his second in as many years, also included a celebration of Mass in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel. It was sponsored by the St. Robert Bellarmine Society, a Catholic group on campus with a specific focus on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Hying discussed some of the challenges the Church is facing today, both internally and societally.
“We’re living through an amazing period in history and the Church,” he said.
He also pointed out the importance of young people getting involved in religion, especially college students.
“It’s when you’re in college that you set your moral compass for the rest of your life,” he said.
Hying’s talk, however, focused on the prayer style Lectio Divinia, in which an individual tries to connect with Biblical scriptures in order to discern God’s presence in the Word. The prayer style is believed to be a personal favorite of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Hying said Lectio Divinia was important to the monasticism movement, which became popular as a different way to live the Christian faith.
“(In monasticism) Scripture is the guide for life,” Hying said.
The student reaction to meeting Hying was positive.
“It was awesome how personal he was with us,” said Katie Lane Frei, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences.
Hying also visited campus last year, to positive feedback from the students who attended. According to Michael Szatkowski, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and secretary for the St. Robert Bellarmine Society, it was one of the group’s highest-attended events, with about 30 people attending both the Mass and talk.
“We knew we would love to have him come back and talk again,” Szatkowski said.
Shannon Webster, a junior in the College of Communication and president of the St. Robert Bellarmine Society, agreed.
“There’s a need for Catholic spirituality on campus,” Webster said.