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Campus Ministry

The Stories of Our Lives

By Kelly Adamson, Director of Residence Life Ministry | Director of Campus Ministry Graduate Assistant Program

“God of wisdom and holiness…Each one of us carries stories filled with challenge, growth, perseverance, and joy…May we be mindful of the deep honor and respect we give to one another simply by listening to each other’s story. Help us to feel your Divine presence moving within and among us this year as we share our own stories and together craft a new chapter in the University of Dayton’s story…” And so begins another year of Campus Ministry’s work with RAs, Fellows, student housing staff, and residents.

Through prayer, laughter, creative bookmaking, and conversation student housing staff spent time during a training mini-retreat reflecting on the stories of their lives these past few months. As we explored our stories, we discovered the ways in which they are connected to our Sacred Stories, the stories of Catholic and Marianist tradition and those of other faiths. We explored the ways in which God was present even in the midst of uncertainty, anxiety, and profound change. As one RA noted, this mini-retreat experience “gave me time to reflect on how COVID truly impacted me and reminded me that it's okay not to know everything that's coming and to just trust in God's plan for my life.”

Residence Life Campus Ministers encouraged RAs and Fellows to imagine the many ways in which their story is still being written with each step. Reflecting on the confidence of the psalmist in Psalm 119 who faithfully proclaims, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet,” they acknowledged the great promise in this declaration – we have a light! In the midst of darkness and in the midst of our unknowing there is light for our path! They also acknowledged that the light the psalmist sings of is not the certainty of a floodlight that shows us the entire path our story will follow. Instead, each of us is continually invited to trust that the next step will be illuminated and to allow our journey in life and with God to unfold one step at a time.

Through this inner work, we in Residence Life Campus Ministry hope to prepare RAs and Fellows to be gentle with one another, to be good listeners of their residents’ life stories, and active supporters of their residents’ seeking to live a life of meaning and purpose in uncertain times.  Our desire is that we all remember that each of our stories is unique, continually unfolding, and worthy of respect; that we must be gentle and careful with another’s life stories and not assume we know either the beginning or the end of anyone’s story. We look forward to hearing your story and supporting you as you take one step at time this semester. We hope you connect with us for conversation about life, faith, and the ways that grace and holiness are woven into our everyday experiences, even when we least expect it. 

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