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Westra assists with campus ministry

Eric Westra talks with Nick Davis ’21 about service hours. Documenting and organizing service hours is one of his many duties as assistant campus minister.

Campus ministry plays a role in the student experience, especially because students complete 100 service hours, participate in retreats for each grade, and join in a host of mission trips. With loads of work for campus ministry, sometimes it is hard to keep up.

To help out, a familiar face, religion teacher Eric Westra, has joined the effort to help students find faith in their everyday lives.

“Mr. Westra is my right-hand man, dealing with all of the campus ministry,” Fr. John Hagemann ‘67 said.

Westra takes care of many things that can be “extremely hectic” and busy during the year, according to Fr. John, such as Operation Others and the March for Life.

“I help coordinate service hour records, provide help with other service hour opportunities, and coordinate Operation Others, as well,” Westra said.

He also helps Fr. John with the increasing amount of work that campus ministry requires.

“I help out with the Valhaven visits when Fr. John is unable to, so it’s just one more way I can help,” Westra said.

One mission of campus ministry is to make a connection between school and the Benedictine way of life. Westra finds this part of the mission engaging and enjoyable.

“It’s different from just sitting in class and teaching all day,” he said. “I get to actually get out there and show my faith and devotion, as well as help students find a good way to express and deepen their faith. It’s like getting to apply what I teach outside.”

At least one student has noticed Westra’s enthusiasm to share his faith.

“He’s very active and he seems excited to teach and show his faith. It makes me want to learn more from him,” Cameron Mallisee ‘21 said.

Hagemann hopes this new leader for campus ministry “will bolster more service efforts” and create a more spiritual campus.

“Mr. Westra gives campus ministry a lot of assistance, and I’m very thankful that he’s here to help,” Hagemann said.

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