by Kyle Burgess ’21
Providence College President Father Kenneth Sicard, O.P., celebrated a special Mass on Feb. 2 as one of PC’s most iconic landmarks celebrated its 20th anniversary. St. Dominic Chapel, more commonly referred to as St. Dom’s by members of the PC community, has quickly become ingrained in the college experiences of many PC students since being erected in 2001. Over the years, the chapel has hosted many milestone occasions and other events, from the popular “Last Chance Masses” on Sunday nights and subsequent post-Mass bash socials, to senior ring blessings, and even confirmations and weddings for alumni.
St. Dom’s also serves as headquarters for the many social and spiritual activities that Friars partake in during their time on campus. Programs such as Habitat for Humanity and Faithworks allow students to become involved in serving the local Providence community. Other programs such as Campus Ministry’s many student retreats are unique opportunities for classmates to connect with one another about their college experiences while also strengthening their Catholic faith together.
“Campus Ministry allows students to grow in faith and work toward building the Beloved Community here at PC,” explained Cam McCauley ’21. “It’s a continuing and collaborative process.” McCauley currently serves as the president of Campus Ministry, having first been introduced to the organization during her freshman year through Habitat for Humanity. She went on to join the club in a leadership role as an English as a second language student minister during her junior year, combining her Spanish major and passion for her faith to help serve others.
McCauley considers this ability to give back to the PC community and Providence community at large as the most rewarding aspect of joining Campus Ministry. “I’m very grateful for the Camp Min community and the experiences I’ve shared with them, but the most rewarding part has been serving others in the community and around campus. I love collaborating with other clubs and meeting new students as well as offering opportunities that serve our brothers and sisters in the community.”
She is also thankful for St. Dom’s Chapel, as it has served as an important resource to her during her spiritual journey at PC. “My favorite memories at St. Dom’s include 10 [p.m.] Mass and Adoration over the years,” said McCauley. “I’ve had a lot of special moments at Mass and Adoration and am very grateful to have the chapel as a safe place on campus.”
Other members of Campus Ministry share McCauley’s appreciation for both the faith community that calls St. Dom’s home and the opportunity to serve others. Father Peter Martyr Yungwirth, O.P., first arrived at PC in January 2015 before becoming the school’s head chaplain and director of Campus Ministry a year later. “As the chaplain, I oversee the liturgical life of the campus as well as work on a number of different committees, many of which are with Student Affairs,” he explained. “There is always a chaplain on-call, 24/7/365. So along with the associate and assistant chaplains, we always make sure to have someone available in case of an emergency.”
Additionally, Fr. Yungwirth oversees both the Campus Ministry staff and Campus Ministry Leadership in the various things that they do, including Peer Ministry, retreats, local and global service, faith formation, and worship. “It’s a blessing to work with so many amazing staff and student leaders,” he added.
Similar to McCauley, Fr. Yungwirth has taken great pride in helping others both in building their faith and their relationships with one another. “The most rewarding aspect of being a part of Camp Min is the connection to a community, both divine and human. Camp Min offers so many opportunities to grow in friends and communion with God, and that’s its ultimate goal. At the same time, often we are drawn to God by others, and so the community of friends that we establish on Earth has a dignity and importance that finds its own purpose in building up that communion between all of us and God.”
For Fr. Yungwirth, St. Dom’s is a place where students can further strengthen the bonds between each other and with God. “I’ve loved being able to sit with students in different meetings or in the confessional and help them to see how the Lord is speaking to them in their lives. It’s such a blessing to see God’s grace actively at work in so many students,” he stated.
For those hoping to get involved with Campus Ministry this semester, be sure to look out for their table at the Involvement Fair on Saturday, Feb. 13. Campus Ministry will also be hosting a variety of different events around Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, and St. Patrick’s Day; a memorial wall for those who died of COVID-19; a week to remember persecuted Christians in Iraq; and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Mass on Sunday, April 25.