Catholic Identity at CSB and SJU with Campus Ministry

Catholic in the Benedictine Tradition 

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University welcome and encourage serious conversations about faith, God, Jesus Christ, spirituality, and moral living---conversations that are deep and ongoing. We are strongly committed to inviting students, faculty, and staff to grow in their faith by living, studying, and speaking honestly and respectfully with others who have different perspectives and may be in different places on their own faith journey.

Catholicism is unique in the Christian tradition because it is not a one-size-fits-all religion.  While Catholics all share a common faith in Jesus Christ and the sacraments of the Church in union with their bishop and the pope, the Catholic Church has always upheld the legitimacy and value of a variety of diverse yet authentic faith expressions. The Roman Catholic Church is a faith tradition rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit to grow and blossom into a beautiful garden over the past 2,000 years.

The Benedictine tradition is a 1,500 old way of life that is grounded in St. Benedict's Rule for Monasteries and dedicated to learning to live well with others while glorifying God through the pursuit of truth, wisdom, beauty, justice, and holiness. It is a way of life in which people work at living together in a healthy community where members seek to be peace with themselves, as well as with God and each other. The Benedictine tradition is mindful of God's presence at all times and in all places. It values the dignity of human work and honors holy leisure. The Benedictine tradition calls people to exercise honesty, respect, hospitality, justice, moderation, stewardship, and a commitment to stability in their relationships.

The following eight principles describe how the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are Catholic, and some of ways in which we are committed to growing together through our Benedictine tradition:

  1. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we believe all persons are made in God's image and likeness and so deserve to be treated with respect-most especially those with whom we may disagree or not understand. The Benedictine tradition calls us to honor the dignity of all people by treating each person as Christ.

  2. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we seek to make our policies, practices, and programming decisions consistent with Church teachings and to carry forth the spirit of Vatican II.
  3. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we provide and promote a wealth of opportunities, places, and forums for students, faculty, and staff to grow spiritually by integrating faith with reason as they engage in academic and non-academic pursuits, reflect on the meaning of their experiences, and/or pray to discern God's call through their experiences.
  4. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we provide abundant opportunities and encouragement for students to serve the common good by assisting people who are in need in ways that respect their human dignity.
  5. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we are committed to promoting growth in the character development of our students in ways that are shaped by Benedictine values.  Most especially we seek to promote that growth which reflects a sacramental view of the world, encourages pursuit of the common good, and that orients relationships in community to be grounded in the teachings of Christ.
  6. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we provide many rich opportunities for students to grow through prayer, celebrating the sacraments, and healthy relationships of trust. 
  7. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we promote growth in students' understandings and appreciations of the similarities as well as differences that people have in culture, gender, and religion.
  8. Being Catholic in the Benedictine tradition means that we assist students in discerning their vocations through mentoring relationships which both support and challenge them to discover the paths wherein their own deep gladness can meet a great hunger of the world.

Campus Ministry

Alternative Break Experiences (ABE): Alternative Winter BreakExperiences, Alternative Spring Break Experiences, and Alternative May Term Experiences.

Faith Communities:  Benedictine Values, Worship outside of Campus, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), Spiritual Retreats for Women, Advent Prayer, Lenten Prayer, Good News Scripture Study, Busy Women's Retreats, Women's Wilderness Retreat, Mother Daughter Retreat, Interfaith Prayer Experiences and Conversations.

Spirituality and Social Justice: Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Catholic Social Teaching Week, Human Rights Awareness Week, Joint Religious Legislative Council Day on the Hill, Fair, Trade Advocacy, Register to Vote, #whataboutsudan, Invisible Children, One Day Without Shoes, CRS Operation Rice Bowls, The Water Project, Hope for Haiti Concert, Urban Plunges, and Human Traffic Awareness Week.

Power, Worship, Praise (PWP): Fridays, 9:15 - 9:30 a.m. in the Murray Hall headquarters. Join us for a cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa, whenever!

Companions on a Journey: A "Spiritual Companioning" group held once a month that uses a contemplative dialogue process led by trained co-facilitators. These are cohort based groups  addressing collegiate women's developmental concerns.

Faith Formation: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), Theology on Tap, Bible Study

Liturgy and Worship: Sunday Mass (6 pm Sacred Heart Chapel) (9 pm Abbey and University Church), Daily Mass (12:30 Mary Chapel), Sacramental Reconciliation, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), Blessing of Minds, and Blessing of Hands, Eucharistic Adoration, and Prison Ministry.

Retreats: FYRE (First Year Retreat Experience), Camping Retreat, Busy Person's Retreat-Men's Chicago Service Retreat, Holden Sustainability Retreat, Couples Retreat, Victus Denuo (The Living Anew Retreat), Men's Chicago Service Retreat

Service and Social Justice: BenCO (Benedictine Community Outreach), Urban Plunges-Domestic Service Trips, International Service Trips,Benedictine Volunteer Service Corps

Men's Spirituality Groups: A forum for men to discuss and explore spirituality and its connections with their understandings of self, masculinity, relationships, and the meaning/purpose of their own life.

Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service Award: Created through the generosity an anonymous donor, the Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service Award honors undergraduate men who have demonstrated dedication to serving others both at CSB/SJU and/or the local community.

Fr. Giles Nathe Grant for Missionary Service: Established in 1974, this endowment provides financial assistance to current students or recent graduates of Saint John's University who desire to pursue domestic or international missionary service. Recipients receive a stipend for travel and incidental expenses related to their service.