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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Gesu pastor calls on students to get involved, help fund church’s deficit

The Rev. John Schlegel, who took over as pastor of the Gesu Parish in June, called on students to become more active in the church and help fund the church’s deficit if they can.

The Church of the Gesu’s new pastor, the Rev. John Schlegel, sat back in his office chair and clasped his hands while classical music played in the background.

“I love college kids,” Schlegel said about his 40 years in higher education. “I’m at their wavelength. I love what they do, I love what they can do.”

Schlegel is working to move the church in a direction of increased student participation and contribution, whether it involves their talents or financial donations.

While giving a homily two weeks ago, Schlegel elaborated on several goals that Gesu Church’s ministry focuses on: its identity, its aspirations, stewardship and finances. In particular, he focused on stewardship and reaching out to Marquette students in a way that has not been done before.

One point of Schlegel’s homily concerned students being responsible parishioners. “It’s your parish,” Schlegel said. “You’ve got skills that we could use.” Some skills he mentioned are volunteering and singing in the choir.

In addition, Schlegel noted how one duty of a responsible parishioner is to help the parish financially.

“We run a modest deficit, just as every parish does,” Schlegel said. “I know the fragility of college-aged kids,” Schlegel said. “I thought a latte a week is not a lot to give up. You don’t need the caffeine anyway,” he joked, since he does not want to pressure students to help the church financially.

Schlegel noted that the church is not “sinking financially,” but that he continues asking for help so the church can stay in the public eye. In addition, he said students can use their college years as preparation for giving financial donations after graduation.

Jennifer Pittman, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she did not see anything wrong with students giving money to help the Gesu deficit.

“I think it’s a great idea to sacrifice something for the church to have others grow closer to God,” Pittman said. “Something as simple as giving up Qdoba or coffee once a week can help. It’s not like you need it.”

Schlegel’s views on student involvement within the church ultimately furthered his position on the importance of stewardship within the church.

“Stewardship is involvement in the church community,” Schlegel said. “We all have been given gifts and every one is as different as we are. Bring your gifts into the church’s life.”

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