The purpose of Campus Ministry at Machebeuf is to provide invitations for students to encounter the person of Jesus Christ. In the invitation to encounter the person of Jesus, we are necessarily invited to encounter His Bride, the Catholic Church and to live more fully in her sacramental life so as to live more fully into our Baptismal identity as sons and daughters of Jesus. More specifically, through retreats, sacramental opportunities, Bible studies, discernment groups, service opportunities, and relational ministry, there are consistent invitations to encounter not an ideology, not a trusted self-improvement method, but the reality of a Person who “proved his love for us in that while we were sinners, [He] died for us” (Romans 5:8-10).
Our Campus Ministry program does not operate in isolation or conflict with the rest of the school; rather, our program (and most importantly, the invitation to truly meet Jesus!) is bolstered by the authentically Catholic environment present in each classroom, whether in Theology or Calculus.
In the Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Retreats, upperclassmen students have the opportunity to be student leaders. As student leaders, they help facilitate small groups, lead games, help with setting up for sessions, give testimonies about how Jesus has moved in their life in the midst of their suffering, or joys, or life, and most importantly, they give witness through their very lives by simply being present to their underclassmen classmates on retreat.
In our Senior Retreat, prayerfully selected Seniors have the opportunity to step out in boldness and leadership and share their testimony with their classmates in the midst of their final retreat while at Machebeuf.
We also have opportunities for students to be Student Liturgy Leaders throughout the year. As Student Liturgy Leaders, they help prepare readers, altar servers, and intercessions for our weekly All School Mass.
After sending out His disciples, Jesus meets them upon their return and instructs them, “come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Jesus Himself, again and again, withdraws to pray and be with His Father. Amidst the busyness of homework, tests, projects, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., each class of Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors takes time away to go on an overnight retreat. Although each differs in theme, the purpose of each retreat is mimicking Jesus and His disciples in taking time away to pray, rest, and to encounter the reality of a Living God! Retreats are made up of so many different opportunities for this encounter. Some opportunities are more “traditional” ways of prayerful encounter: Mass, guided reflection activities, praise and worship, and Adoration. So, too, we recognize that Jesus is not ONLY encountered in these moments; rather, He desires to encounter each student, student leader, and chaperone in EVERY moment: in their small groups, free time, games, mealtimes, and time spent in creation!
Our retreats are broken up by grade level to allow for the cultivation of community with the men and women they’ll be sharing life with throughout their four years at Machebeuf, with the Junior Retreat uniquely and traditionally broken up into separate retreats for the men and women.
Jesus is undeniably clear that the Christian life cannot be lived in isolation: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). The spiritual and corporal works of mercy guide our hopes for how our school community serves their neighbor – both in our immediate community and through the greater Denver community. One practical example of how we serve our neighbor is a school-wide supply drive for vulnerable mothers in the Denver area, pairing with the national 40 Days for Life campaign.
The only way to know what God’s call is for our lives is to be in relationship with God! Although retreats can provide the initial life-changing encounter with God or further bolstering of one’s relationship with God, retreats are only a few days out of the year! Retreats aren’t meant to be the sole environment of encounter with Jesus; rather, there are several opportunities available at Bishop Machebeuf each day to begin and continue one’s relationship with Jesus. Between the daily sacramental opportunities, teacher or staff-led Bible studies, weekly discernment group meetings, or pastoral/spiritual conversation with Mrs. Mussoline or Fr. Julio, students have ample opportunity to both begin a life of prayer, discipleship, and intimate relationship with Jesus and to be guided in this relationship, in order to actively discern God’s will for their lives.