The Good Word 2018 April

GTCC Alumni e-Newsletter
April 2018      Vol. MMXVII        Issue 11

Helluva Chaplain's Corner

Dear Alumni, Parents and Friends,

Happy Easter! We hope you and your loved ones had a blessed celebration of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Here at the Catholic Center we had a very eventful Holy Week culminating in a beautiful celebration of the Sacred Triduum. Hours of planning took place by a dedicated group of students. I couldn’t be more proud of them and everyone who helped make this an unforgettable week. It was a joy to have Fr. Michael Silloway and several of our seminarians join us. We had record numbers fill our beautiful Chapel throughout the week!

Enjoy this edition of The Good Word with highlights from the last couple of months and images from our Triduum celebration. We thank you sincerely for your support of our efforts with your donations and prayers. I'd like to extend an invitation to you and your families to join us at our Donor Appreciation Brunch on Sunday, April 22nd.  I look forward to seeing many of you then!

Yours in Christ,

Easter at the GTCC
by Thomas Gaines, BA '17

This past week marked a special time at the Catholic Center. We celebrated the Paschal Triduum and, in typical Tech fashion, had a packed schedule. I have never seen such breathtaking liturgies, culminating in the Easter Vigil. In addition to the beautiful liturgies, there were communal Liturgies of the Hours, the Stations of the Cross, rosaries and Chaplets of Divine Mercy, and a viewing of the Passion of the Christ, among other activities.

The liturgies, beginning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and proceeding to the Easter Vigil, were meticulously planned. Fr. Josh’s homilies were inspiring to everyone I spoke with, and the schola sang as beautiful as ever. After the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we processed to the Altar of Repose downstairs, reminiscent of a garden. There, a large group of people stayed until midnight, spending time with Christ until Good Friday began. The Liturgy of Good Friday was somber, and brought to mind that we were called to remember Christ’s suffering and death for our sins. The chanting of John’s Passion was done wonderfully by Fr. Josh, Fr. Michael, and the schola. The Liturgy of Good Friday left everyone in anticipation of what was to come. After the Liturgy, there was a showing of the Passion of the Christ movie. It was, as always, a hard movie to watch, but one that made clear and present what happened on that day.

As Saturday approached, everyone waited in anticipation of the coming night. Most of the day was filled with setting up the altar and sanctuary for the Easter Vigil Mass, including a beautiful handmade arch of flowers and branches covering the entrance to the sanctuary. The Easter Vigil began, and it was one of the most stunning Masses I’ve attended. It was a joyous celebration of Christ’s resurrection, as well as the entrance of a large group of new people into the Church! The schola was amazing, and truly lifted our minds and hearts to God. Father Josh gave a beautifully reflective homily on the resurrection.
The Easter Liturgy was a fitting end to the most reverent and holy celebration of the Paschal Triduum, and I couldn’t have imagined a more inspiring and uplifting experience.

Students March For Life

by Kiersten Schutz, LMC '20

One Thursday afternoon in January, I climbed onto a bus with nearly 50 other students for the 13-hour drive to the 2018 March for Life in Washington DC. After a night of movies, conversation, knitting lessons, and very little sleep, we all stumbled into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 6:30 in the morning and snagged some of the last seats for a Mass that wouldn’t start for another hour.

Through the remainder of the day, we listened to talks by Paul Ryan, Pam Tebow, and Sister Bethany Madonna (a student favorite!); prayed a rosary with other groups who were marching to the Supreme Court alongside us; searched for clever pro-life signs at the rally; and tried not to fall asleep while waiting hours in Union Station for the bus to return. In all of these activities, it was unspeakably beautiful to see so many thousands of people taking time out of their busy lives to come together in support of the beauty, dignity, and sanctity of human life. I was especially moved to see these efforts from so many of my peers, whose particular struggles and sacrifices I know at a more personal level. And though it may sometimes seem that all this exhaustion and chaos and perpetual waiting are accomplishing very little actual change, I trust that Our Lord has a plan, both for us and for our unborn brothers and sisters, and that He will never allow such great love to go to waste.
Men Discern Their Vocation
by Brandon Gerberich, BME PhD/MBA '19
Our annual GTCC men’s discernment retreat was held this year once again in the tranquil north Georgia landscape at Covecrest. Fr. Tim Hepburn, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, led the February retreat for the nine GTCC men (including myself) in attendance discerning their vocation – particularly discerning a potential vocation to priesthood. The GTCC has a strong history of graduates attending seminary, a product no doubt of the thriving Catholic community and leadership, but also perhaps a product of opportunities such as this to step back from our daily routines and to more deeply examine God’s calling in our lives.
At the retreat, Fr. Tim emphasized the importance of a man’s role as a father in his vocation, whether it be through the type of fatherhood manifested in priesthood or that which is manifested through marriage. Priesthood and marriage share a commonality in that they require self-sacrifice - a free giving of self to serve those whom God entrusts to our care. This sacrifice is reflected in the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, the virtuous imitation of which brings us peace through living out our particular vocations. 

Greeks Focus on Faith
by Caroline Balmer, IE '20

Close to forty students spent an amazing weekend at LEGACY 2018, a conference sponsored by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) for members of fraternities and sororities. It was filled with fellowship, speakers, prayer, adoration, and praise & worship. We discussed how to live out our faith in our greek chapters and how to leave a legacy of truth and love with our brothers and sisters. It was really cool to see the hundreds of greek students from the southeast who had a genuine desire to discover God’s plan for their life and live it out in their houses. It brought a sense of community to something that can sometimes feel lonely - the mission of standing up for and spreading truth on our college campuses.

The highlight for me was definitely a talk by John Leyendecker that kicked off the conference. He talked a lot about his past and how he was trying to fill a pin-sized hole in his heart with an ocean of pleasure, a hole that only God could fill. I think that experience resonates with a lot of students who have searched for worldly things like academic success, friendships, relationships, and partying to satisfy a desire that can only be fulfilled by God. The passion of the students and speakers at the conference combined with the amazing programming, which included gender-specific talks, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a teaching Mass, and time for adoration and confession, made for an incredible opportunity to encounter Christ’s love.

FOCUS also sponsored a greek social at the Catholic Center that included live music, food (including a chocolate fountain!), and fellowship. It was a great opportunity to get to know other greeks at Georgia Tech who are living out their faith at school and in their chapters. Ultimately, I think it really helped students feel connected to the Catholic Center and to the community of Catholics at Georgia Tech. 

Valentine's Day, a Knight to Remember

The Knights of Columbus, together with the Catholic Student Organization, rolled out the red carpet for the ladies of the Catholic Center at their annual Valentine's Day extravaganza. They prepared and served a delicious gourmet dinner, followed by music and dancing. The highlight of the evening came when the ladies were presented with roses and personalized letters from the gentlemen. It was a fun and unforgettable evening for all!

Development Update

Patty Schmitt, Development Director, IM'88

Thanks to your generosity and prayers our community of Catholics at Georgia Tech continues to grow and thrive! Through February 2018 we are at 76% of our target of $470,067. Our fiscal year ends on June 30th. Please help us close the gap over the next four months by making a one-time or a recurring gift in any amount. I hope to see many of you at our Donor Appreciation Brunch on Sunday, April 22nd after the 11:30 Mass. Thank you again for your support!
Upcoming Events

April 19 - RENEW
April 21 - Braves Game
April 22 - Donor Appreciation Brunch
April 29 - Graduation Party
May 6-21 - El Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage

Support the Catholic Center at Georgia Tech by donating through the following links!