Editor’s note: An estimated 211 students are signed up for leadership positions in Campus Ministry this year, and nearly all DSHA students will likely participate in Campus Ministry activities — from attending Masses and retreats to cleaning the chapel sacristy and running service initiatives. Leading those students will be seven DSHA seniors, known as Campus Ministry Officers, who are poised to take charge of Campus Ministry’s prayer, service and communications work. This is the third in a series of stories introducing this year’s officers.
Managing DSHA’s sprawling Campus Ministry offerings can be a busy endeavor.
Community service initiatives. Faith-formation retreats. Fundraising drives. Masses and prayer services. The calendar can fill up quickly.
Helping spread the word about the year’s batch of programs and activities is a job that falls squarely on two DSHA seniors — who, thank goodness, know their way comfortably around Twitter and Snapchat.
Jackie Dooge, DSHA ’19, and Allison Koppa, DSHA ’19, said they’re looking forward to tackling roles this year as Campus Ministry Officers in charge of marketing DSHA’s Campus Ministry opportunities to their peers.
“I wanted to be able to connect to the whole school and get everyone involved,” Dooge said recently.
As communications officers, Dooge and Koppa will have access to DSHA’s Campus Ministry Twitter, Snapchat, Spotify and Instagram feeds.
“We basically run the social media,” Koppa said.
Koppa explained her and Dooge’s roles will involve making sure Campus Ministry programs connect with and invite involvement from all the school’s students.
That’ll mean filling online news feeds with details about a burgeoning outlay of programs aimed at growing students’ faith, which at DSHA run a broad spectrum. The school’s regular faith-formation retreats, including an annual two-week “Vocare” service immersion program for seniors, are popular annual mainstays. Students also regularly attend all-school Masses and optional Eucharistic liturgies on Wednesdays.
DSHA students can also participate in a range of community service programs. During Advent, for instance, Campus Ministry Officers are planning to help coordinate efforts aimed at supporting Milwaukee-area immigrants. And in the run-up to Easter, students are projected to help Catholic Relief Services workers construct a birthing center for a clinic in Ghana, a West African country with stubbornly high infant death rates.
“Getting everyone involved” in projects like those is what excites Dooge, who said her role this year will involve making sure students not only participate in ministry offerings, but also understand the “why” behind the school’s mission and programming.
“The officers we have this year are some of the most faith-filled, organized, and articulate students I have had the opportunity to work with,” said Campus Ministry Director Kathleen Cullen Ritter, DSHA ’05. She said the Campus Ministry Officers hold some of “the most prestigious leadership positions at DSHA,” noting the officer roles involve weekly meetings and regular work with the whole student body.
Their roles’ importance isn’t lost on students like Dooge and Koppa, who said their experiences in Campus Ministry had been some of their most important and formative at DSHA.
“Being a senior,” Koppa said, “I kind of look back at my three previous years, I have almost a little bit of regret of not taking advantage of everything.”
DSHA, Koppa added, offers “so many unique opportunities” — she pointed to optional Wednesday Masses and periods of adoration — which she said she hopes young students participate in. (And what better way to drive students to the chapel than a cleverly worded 140-character online missive?)
“I just hope that the students take the time to go to different things,” said Koppa, “and try and find what works for them.”