The Good Word 2016 March-April

GTCC Alumni e-Newsletter
March/April 2016       Vol. MMXVI        Issue 2

Helluva Chaplain's Corner:
Fr. Joshua Allen


Dear Friends,

A happy Easter Season to you all!  We only have a couple of weeks left at Georgia Tech before the Spring Term ends and a whole new crop of students “get out” and begin their careers as young professionals.  It has been a busy semester!  From the 24 Hours of Mercy to the visit of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist and the Fathers of Mercy, retreats, our mission trip to Peru, a wonderful Easter celebration in which we welcomed 14 students into their full sacramental relationship with the Church—this is really been an exciting (and a fast) semester.  Summer is nearly upon us.  Prospective freshmen are visiting us each day, and we are well into planning for Welcome Week in the Fall.  I’m personally looking forward to some time off in the summer, and then another exciting year of forming disciples of Christ beginning in the Fall.
We couldn’t do it without you!  So many of you support our mission spiritually and financially, and we are deeply grateful for your sacrifices made so that we can participate in the renewal of  the Church that is happening on college campuses across the country.  At the end of an amazing school year, I want to remind you of my daily prayers and appreciation.  We are hosting a Donor Appreciation Brunch on April 24th after the 11:30 Mass. I am personally preparing a number of the dishes! Children are welcome, so please consider coming: I really believe our GT Catholic community is a family…and families have to get together every once in a while.  To RSVP now, just click here and register the number of guests.
As always, please be assured of the prayers of our community, and let me know if we can be of any assistance!
To Hell With Georgia,
Fr. Josh

Peru Mission Trip and
Easter Highlights

Davis Aasen, ME'16
This past spring break, I traveled to Peru with over thirty other students in order to work alongside and serve the people of Pamplona Alta. The first day and a half we spent time in the city proper of Lima. The culture was vibrant, the people were happy (for the most part), and the churches were beautiful. This made the transition from tourist to missionary all the more stark. As we entered Pamplona Baja, there was a sudden decrease in the building quality. As we entered further into the hills, the quality of construction continued to decrease, and the poverty became more and more evident the closer we got to our destination.

The first three days in Pamplona Alta were spent building stairs. While this may sound strange at first, this simple piece of infrastructure is critical in the upper regions of the hills. The slopes are made of loose dust and head sized rocks, combining into a treacherous perch for the many houses. Without stairs, the locals have to carry all of their goods, including large drums of water, up these paths, which many of us needed to use our hands to navigate, to their homes each day. In spite of the grim living conditions, many of the locals were happy to work alongside us. We all worked to a student's cycling playlist, passing stones, water, cement and food up long chains of volunteers to the work site. Those of us who could speak Spanish learned about the lives of the locals and even in one instance, helped out with homework!      

Once Holy Thursday rolled around we were done with the manual labor, but the best, and most important, work was about to come. There was a mad scramble on Wednesday night to prepare for the liturgy and catechesis. People were rehearsing the living stations of the cross while simultaneously worrying about entering people’s homes to proclaim the gospel. Despite the chaos, or perhaps because of it, the three days of the triduum were incredible. The homilies, delivered in Spanish, were deeply moving. The students, despite being challenged with tough questions on suffering, showed the love of Christ and taught about his kingdom in a beautiful way. The rosary was taught en masse to the locals and the stations of the cross were acted out on the very slopes they lived on, leaving a large cross planted in their village.


Entering Pamplona, we had been told that we could not free these people from their poverty. It was too severe, to institutionalized for us to break it. We worked hard nonetheless, building fraternal bonds, showing the love of Christ, proclaiming the Good News that Christ died for each of them individually, and planting the cross more deeply in their hearts. So while we could not lift them from poverty, we did our best to help free them from misery.

Easter Sunday at the GTCC

Alex Sullivan, BA'14
Easter Sunday at the Georgia Tech Catholic Center is always a wonderful experience.  The Mass is already special because it is Easter; the faithful have been fasting and doing penance for more than a month, waiting to celebrate the quintessential mysteries of the Catholic faith.  For many people, though, there is another reason to celebrate: friends and family are coming into full communion with the Church.  These men and women, who have been preparing for months if not years,  are finally being welcomed into the Church and the fullness of her sacramental life.  It is a joyous occasion, no doubt.

As usual though, Georgia Tech threw a wrench in things, as Spring Break was scheduled during the same week as Holy Week;  Father Josh was committed to being in Peru when the initiation usually occurred, at the Easter Vigil Mass the night before Easter Sunday.  So it was not at the Saturday Vigil, but on Sunday evening when the patient candidates and catechumens were finally welcomed into the Church.  Thanks to some generous donors, the chapel was gorgeously decorated with flowers, and was the perfect setting for the celestial celebration.  Feasting followed, and we welcome our new brothers and sisters into full communion with Mother Church.  Glory to Jesus Christ both now and forever!

Easter as a New Catholic
Alex Hanson, BA'13
Since my introduction to the Catholic faith a little over 2 years ago, my conversion has been a long process. I did a lot of searching and discovering that made me think more about who I am as a Christian and how I wanted to be a faithful follower of Jesus as He called and intended for His disciples. My confirmation sponsor Alex and his family have been a huge blessing in my life, and each of them has really helped guide me on this spiritual journey through their love and encouragement. More importantly, though, the decision to join the Church was something that I prayed about and discerned earnestly for almost a year. There have certainly been many questions along the way but I feel like I am following my heart to where God is leading it now.

As the nerves and anticipation built for weeks, Easter Sunday at Georgia Tech finally arrived and it was simply amazing. I was fortunate to have the support of my family, Alex’s family, and some close friends who were all in attendance. It marked the culmination of one journey in my life and the beginning of another. Ever since I began to learn about the Catholic faith, I quickly realized I was missing something so important: the true presence of Christ in the form of the Eucharist! Jesus is the bread of life; He gave His body and His whole self to me, and Easter Sunday was the day I was finally able to experience what I had been missing for so long.

24 Hours of Mercy Retreat

In response to Pope Francis' call for a worldwide day of mercy, the Georgia Tech Catholic Center held a 24 hour retreat from March 3rd to March 4th. It consisted of day-long adorations and confessions, student reflections, rosary and divine mercy chaplet prayers, benedictions, a votive mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, stations of the cross, and a votive mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the extraordinary form High Mass.

Men's Discernment

Grant Aasen, IE'17
On the evening of February 26th, 18-20 Georgia Tech Catholic Center men left campus to head to Camp Covecrest in the Georgia mountains to attend a weekend discernment retreat. This group contained men from many different walks of life: student athletes, fraternity brothers, grad students, and many more. The Archdiocese of Atlanta’s Vocations Director Father Tim Hepburn, along with Father Josh, led this retreat. Throughout the weekend, these men strenghtened fraternal bonds by taking part in activities such as playing two-hand touch football, hiking, and just unwinding and enjoying the beautiful scenery and fellowship of each other. Along with these activities, Father Tim gave a series of talks consisting of the basics for discerning one's vocation, a vocation given to each individual by God. Plenty of prayer time, adoration, and Mass were included in this weekend retreat. For some, discernment was not a new topic; for others, they had heard the word a few times but had never really thought about it seriously. Having a mixed group all interact together and walk the same journey helped everyone grow in their spiritual lives, and get a better understanding of where God is calling them to sacrifice and serve.
From Tech to FOCUS
Aislinn Gayle Domantay, INTA'15

FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) at Georgia Tech has been such a great blessing not just to me but to all the students that it has reached. The FOCUS  missionaries and the community at the GTCC have been with me through my journey to holiness in college, they were with me as I was trying to have a better understanding of the faith and they were with me as I began to fall in deeper love with Christ and the Church. As I started my last semester at GT and began considering post-graduation plans and started looking up job opportunities, I knew that all I wanted in a job is to continue to be able to serve the Church. Becoming a FOCUS missionary fit the bill. After having gone through the application, interview process, lots of prayer and discernment, and eventually receiving a position with FOCUS; it felt right to accept. As a FOCUS missionary, I hope to be able to walk together with other people as we grow in deeper love of Christ. FOCUS will help me learn and understand better how to love and encounter other people. Further, by being in union with the mission of the Church, to “make disciples of the world”, I hope to be able to listen better to the voice of God in the silence of my heart and to understand His will for me in my pilgrimage through this world.
Alumnus Spotlight:

Dr. Annie Antón

The GTCC is proud to have Dr. Annie Antón as a member of our Advisory Board. Dr. Antón has been a part of the Catholic Center since her years as an undergraduate at Georgia Tech. We are grateful for her service and loyal support of our ministry for so many years. Dr. Antón has recently been appointed to President Obama's Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. We are delighted that a member of the GTCC community is being recognized at a national level. Our prayers are with Dr. Antón and the members of this commision as they embark on this very important task. Read all about it here.
Student Spotlight:

John Joseph Watson, ME'19


My name is John Joseph Watson, and I am a freshman at Georgia Tech and an active member of the Georgia Tech Catholic Center. Coming into college, one of my main priorities was keeping up with my faith, and I had heard that Georgia Tech had a great Catholic Center. I went and checked it out the first weekend I was on campus and was instantly impressed not only by the amazing facility but mainly by the devotion of its members to the faith. I started going to more events with the GTCC as the year progressed such as football games, movie nights, bible studies and talks. It has provided me with a community and fellowship like no other that I have found on campus.

In a time when many people drop their faith by the wayside in college, it is great to have a place like the GTCC which enkindles my faith and connects me to an amazing community of Catholic students. I love it and plan to stay involved throughout my time at Georgia Tech and perhaps beyond.

From the Development Office
Patty Schmitt, IM'88

Thanks to you we have raised 84% of our fundraising goal of $360,516. We are so grateful! Your gifts are making a big difference in the lives of our students. The Catholic Center truly is their home away from home. We’d like to say THANK YOU by inviting you and your family to our Donor Appreciation Brunch on April 24th. Join us at Mass at 11:30 and brunch immediately following. Free parking is available on Peters Parking Deck across the street from the CC. Please RSVP by registering HERE so we can plan for food and refreshments. It’s not too late! Questions? Email me at I hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events:

April 24 - Donor Brunch
August 17 - Freshman Open House (Move In Day)
September 30 - Family Weekend Reception
Do you know a Prospective Student? Click and Share to Learn More About the Catholic Center!