BY JORDAN OTERO
For a while now, Franciscan University of Steubenville’s female students have been confused by the existence of two ministries dedicated to serving them: Franciscan University of Steubenville Women’s Ministry and Catholic Womanhood Missions. After realizing that both groups were working towards the same goal, leaders of both groups have decided to combine their efforts to better serve the women of campus.
FUS Women’s Ministry and Catholic Womanhood Missions decided to merge in late February 2012, said Megan Dougherty, a core team member and leader of FUS Women’s Ministry. The new organization will take on the name of FUS Women’s Ministry, she said, because “it is clear and to the point.”
“The merge will allow us to combine our strengths to reach the women on campus in a more effective way,” said Dougherty.
Sophomore core team member Jenny Holcomb shared Dougherty’s excitement about the merge and agreed that it will highlight each group’s strengths in service to campus. “When you’re explaining the differences between the ministries, you’re not really focusing on the unity of it…and this will allow us to focus on the women and the ministry; not so much how we’re different but our mission to minister to women on campus,” said Holcomb.
Dougherty said that the core team is taking into account the strengths of each of the ministries as they are merged into one. For example, the Capture My Heart retreat will “still be an important part of the ministry.” There will also still be a focus on formation, both for the core team and for the women of campus, she said.
Catholic Womanhood Missions was in existence before FUS Women’s Ministry, which was founded last year. Dougherty said that FUS Women’s Ministry was founded in the hopes of having an official campus ministry “whose goal is to integrate both human and spiritual formation.”
“Previously, women’s formation was focused on primarily by Catholic Womanhood Missions, which at the time was a (student government) club,” she said. “However, there seemed to be a need for a pastoral and authoritative ministry for women; which is why FUS Women’s Ministry was founded as part of the Office of Evangelization.”
The group will be retaining the FUS Women’s Ministry mission statement, in which the organization “seeks to accompany women on the journey toward holiness and help them to fully embrace their feminine genius by fostering growth in an appreciation of the feminine intellect, harmonization of reason and emotion, equipping women to experience healthy relationships with God, self and others, an understanding of the prophetic role of women, upholding women saints as models of femininity transformed by grace, and cultivation of the Marian virtues.”
“Everything has fallen into place beautifully so far and we are excited to see how we will grow in the coming year,” said Dougherty. She and Holcomb encourage women to apply for positions on the core team for the upcoming (2012-2013) school year. Applications are available in the Christ the King Chapel Office and are due April 20.