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Catholic community impacts students' lives

Unlike many college campuses across the U.S., Seton Hall is proudly known as a Catholic institution. Saint Paul’s Outreach (SPO) and The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) are two organizations within our Campus Ministry that have missionaries living right in our dorms and off campus.

As a freshman, I recently went through the struggle of picking the right school to attend. I applied to 12, which made it even harder to decide where to go. But knowing that Seton Hall is Catholic made it an easier decision since I was raised in the religion. I knew I could easily get involved in Campus Ministry when I got here. What I didn’t expect was the amount of missionaries on campus from both of these organizations. I didn’t even know what a college campus missionary was or, even less, the effect they could have on my life or the lives of the people around me.

After getting involved with SPO and FOCUS I started to realize that the Catholic community at Seton Hall was a lot more important than it looked like from the outside. Certain missionaries consistently reached out to me over the course of the fall semester and through conversations and fellowship with them I began to strengthen my own love for God even more. They encouraged me to deepen my prayer life even further and provided me with guidance if I needed it. I cherish their presence in my life and here on campus because I know the dedication they have towards my wellbeing and simply the friendship they have blessed me with.

These missionaries, who are usually freshly graduated college students, give up their own plans to lead others to God and to a life of faith and purpose. As soon as I met a couple of them I realized that they were actually pushing and praying for me to become a stronger and more faithful person. They care about me and about others and treat everyone with love and respect. The outreach of these missionaries is truly important to Seton Hall’s student body.

Freshman Emily Giannini said, “They have had an impact on my life, reopening my eyes to the work and endless love of God while providing a safe and friendly community.”

Experiences of this kindness brought to Emily, other students and myself by the missionaries are an amazing grace found here at our own school.

Missionary Becca Shrake, who has lived in Boland Hall for almost two years now, said: “Giving up my own plans to follow God’s plan and to help others come to know Him and His love for them is what a missionary is.”

Becca, along with the many other missionaries here (some living in the SPO men’s house, women’s house, and Ora Manor) strive to help students realize how much love God holds for them and wants to give them. Not only have I felt this love through them, but many other students like Emily have as well.

Our Campus Ministry invites each student to participate and to seek the purposeful life set before them. These missionaries provide the love, kindness and friendship that students constantly seek and that I, along with many others, have personally felt. They are here with open arms along with God as a huge part of Seton Hall’s Campus Ministry.

Paola Hegedus is a freshman graphic design major from Miami, Fl. She can be reached at

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