Campus Ministry has changed a lot over the past few years between Mike Hayes resignation from his position of director and other staff members leaving as well. The staff has decreased dramatically over just the past few years going from nine employees to now, as Father Mattimore puts it, one and a half.
Father Mattimore is a part of all three groups that fall under the office of Ministry and Mission, being Campus Ministry, Mission and Identity and the New Buffalo Institute. He considers himself to be half an employee for Campus Ministry due to him helping the other groups as well.
The three groups have come together in agreement that their missions are very similar and that they have a lot in common overall. They have been working and talking amongst themselves, and have also determined that institutionally, they should be brought together.
Father Mattimore was given a new job, but has not taken the role of director of Campus Ministry. He was working half time in Campus Ministry and half time for the New Buffalo Institute.
“I’m still working on figuring out how the three different groups can move forward, how we can work together more, what we need to do,” he said. “I’ve been talking to people and reading up, and still doing what I have been doing.”
The three groups have done a lot of their work virtually due to COVID-19.
Father Mattimore is essentially the head of the three groups. He and Kaitlyn Buehlmann, the associate campus minister, work under campus ministry, and the other two groups consist of employees of their own.
“We are hoping to bring people together and to be a model for everybody else, and to work together and meet our common goals,” Father Mattimore stated. They do anticipate hiring a new director, though they are unsure of when that will be.
They are reorganizing and prioritizing events such as senior retreats, masses and racial injustice programs since they have had a loss of staff members. Buehlmann primarily serves as a coordinator for emergence programs and justice programming, and this semester she is running a four part series on racial justice in collaboration with two other Jesuit schools.
“We’re doing what we can and prioritizing what we think is most important,” Father Mattimore said.
Campus Ministry is still looking for more help, and they are looking at not only what they have already done but also what they are hoping to do the remainder of the fall semester. They plan on having daily mass, Sunday mass that will be live streamed, prayer opportunities for students with praise and worship music and adoration, night prayer in the chapel that has recently started and are hoping to have students participate in the virtual Ignatian Family Teach in for Justice.
They are hoping to have more students participate in this conference since it is virtual and students can attend for no cost. The conference is typically an annual event that focuses on social justice. Students from Jesuit schools all over the US come together. The conference usually is in person in D.C., but due to COVID-19, it will be virtual.
They plan on using a program that allows them to livestream, social network and open a chat room to allow students to interact with others easily. They also want to have an in-person watch party and follow up conversations over Zoom.
This conference will take place from Oct. 19-Oct. 26. Students can apply online and applications are due by Friday, Oct. 9.