The Good Word 2018 July

GTCC Alumni e-Newsletter
July 2018      Vol. MMXVIII        Issue 12

The finished ceiling.

Helluva Chaplain's Corner
by Fr. Josh Allen

Summer is well underway at the Catholic Center, and this summer it’s pretty different.  We have begun a three-phase chapel renovation project, and currently we are in the middle of some of the most important changes.  The project has been underway for almost three weeks now, and it has disrupted our Catholic life, but the students are doing well and are very excited.
The three phases of our project are as follows:
Phase 1:  Installation of pews, resurfacing our floors, changing the lighting in the nave of the chapel, and refinishing the ceiling.  Anticipated completion: September 2018
Phase 2:  Renovation of the Sanctuary.  Resurfacing the floors of the sanctuary; removal of some cosmetic dry wall.  Installation of a permanent ambo/pulpit; New tabernacle and reredos and renovation of the main altar.  Statuary and lighting and sound in the Sanctuary.  Anticipated completion: August 2019
Phase 3:  Perimeter walls of the chapel, including changing the southeastern wall to have a symmetrical window with the southwestern wall.  Installation of stained glass in the windows.  Renovation of the emergency exit doors.  Decorative painting throughout.  Anticipated completion: August 2020.
Every portion of this project which can be done ourselves will be done ourselves.  Thus far, 100% of the work has been completed by the students, alumni, some parents, and me.  In the end, this will make the project even more special.
On June 11, we began removing carpet in the Nave.  It was quite the operation.  The glue from the carpet was very difficult and required four pretty substantial machines to remove.  During this process, we began to prepare our replacement tiles for the ceiling.  We tested different paint combinations for weeks leading up to June 11.  Eventually, we purchased tiles for the drop ceiling and began the painting process. The inspiration for the ceiling was the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, which is where St. Catherine of Siena is buried. One of our students designed a stencil for us and cut it with the laser cutter in the design lab.  Hundreds of student hours later, we had a finished ceiling filled with stars. The final product is more spectacular than any of us anticipated, and the pictures simply do not do it justice. 
As I write this note, we are in the middle of floor installation: a beautiful ceramic tile in a light cream color.  We anticipate that portion of the project being complete in about 10 days.
We also changed our chandelier lights to something more in keeping with the newly envisioned space, and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of our newly manufactured pews and kneelers and presider’s chair, which should arrive in September.  Installation of the pews will only take a couple of days, so while it will be during the school year, it will not affect Masses. 
We are in the process of preparing a prospectus with all of the phases and drawings of our anticipated results.  Phase 1 is completely funded.  Phases 2 and 3 are completely unfunded. If you feel called to help us with this important project, please make a donation to our Chapel Fund. All donations will be used towards our renovations as part of our new Rebuild The Temple Campaign, which you will soon hear more about. In the meantime, we’re excited to announce our 2019 Helluva Catholic Gala and Silent Auction planned for March 1 of next year. Please save the date to come out and support The Catholic Center and our Chapel renovations!
Most of all, I welcome you to come and see how things are coming along—especially after the tile is done.  Thanks to all of our generous donors who have made Phase 1 possible and all of the  students who have contributed their labor!

Pictured at top: Carpet comes off; Mike Griffin and Brandon Gerberich scrape the chapel floor. Pictured in middle: Valeska Lobo and PJ Drum paint tiles; Caroline Balmer, Rachel Millsaps, Colette Balmer and Nick Williams smile for the camera. Pictured at bottom: Mike Griffin gives the thumbs up as he works the floor machine; and the ceiling begins to take shape.

El Camino de Santiago

by Chris Larkins, IE '20

Eleven days. One hundred and fifty miles. Sixteen backpacks. Thirteen past or present Georgia Tech students. One married couple. One religious brother. One priest. These were the numbers of the Georgia Tech 2018 Camino Trip from Astorga to Santiago de Compostela. “El Camino” in English is “the way,” however the Spanish language has several different words that equate to the English word “way.” Thus “El Camino” has a special meaning of “the way.” This special meaning is the way of a journey, trail, or adventure. This Spanish understanding luminates the experience of the Camino. In a natural sense, the Camino certainly was just a hike on a path that ended in Santiago de Compostela, but in a supernatural sense, the Holy Spirit was present on the trip guiding and guarding each of those in our group.

Each day we woke up around 7 a.m., and from the very first moment of the morning, Christ was present in the singing, the smiles, the jokes, and prayers that occurred before our departure. At 8 a.m., we usually left the hostel, and headed West, closer and closer to Santiago and to our finish line. Throughout the day, we encountered Christ as we prayed Rosaries together, witnessed God’s beautiful creation in the hills and valleys of Northern Spain, met other pilgrims, and shared the Galician specialties of vino y pulpo (wine and octopus). Each day we also celebrated Mass, and often invited other pilgrims to celebrate Mass with us. As we walked, prayed, ate, and drank, physical pain increased each day between countless combinations of blisters, sunburns, and rashes. More and more of us bought hiking poles, knee braces, and pain killer medicine throughout the trip, yet everyone remained so joyful as we relied more on the life-giving water Christ. Despite the pain, joy beamed through each of those in our group, and I thank and praise God for guiding me on the Camino to have a deeper, more fundamental understanding of the way of Christ.

Group picture (at very top) in front of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in front row (l-r): Patrick Williams, Emily Williams, Morgan Stephens, Keegan McGarry, Sara Crozier, Fr. Josh Allen, Alejo Molina, Andrew Renuart, Justin Tamayo. Back row (l-r): Luke Knudson, Chris Larkins, Mitchell Tuck, Will Whitlow, Thomas Gaines, Vincent Ceyssens, Alex Carroll.
Pictured above in the left inset: Fr. Josh celebrates Mass in Molinaseca. Pictured right inset: Fr. Josh celebrates Mass in Furelos, Galicia.

Pictured in top row: From l-r Chris Larkins, Alejo Molina, Vincent Ceyssens, Morgan Stephens and Luke Knudson at the marker showing 100KM to go; next Thomas Gaines, Vincent Ceyssens, Keegan McGarry, Alex Carroll, Morgan Stephens, and Justin Tamayo pose along the Camino. Pictured in middle: the group hiking through Villafranca del Bierzo; next Vincent Ceyssens does a reading at a chapel in Sarria. Pictured in bottom: Fr. Josh and Keegan McGarry smile on the trail; next the group enters Santiago de Compostela.

New FOCUS Team at
Georgia Tech 


Pictured (l-r): Aron Aziz, Kaitlin Houlton, Srishti Gupta, Helen Beckert, Deidre Merrill, Ric Dickens.

The GTCC is excited to introduce our new team of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionaries for the 2018-2019 academic year. Deidre Merrill is the Team Lead and is returning to GT for her fifth year! Deidre is a graduate of Maryville College and hails from Knoxville, TN. Helen Beckert is returning to GT for her second year and is a graduate of Murray State from Henderson, KY. We have four first-year missionaries. We're thrilled to have our very own Srishti Gupta, AE '18, stay at the GTCC for her first assignment. Kaitlin Houlton comes to us from the University of Tulsa and hails from Omaha, NE. Ric Dickens is a graduate of the University of Missouri from Coppell, TX. Aron Aziz graduated from Vanderbilt University and is from Columbus, OH. We can't wait to see what God has in store for our missionaries! Welcome!

Thank you for joining us!

Thank you to our wonderful benefactors who braved the rain and joined us on April 22nd for Mass and our third annual Donor Appreciation Brunch! It is a joy to meet new donors and to reconnect with old ones. Everyone enjoyed a catered brunch followed by welcoming words from Fr. Josh and a state of the CC address from Catholic Student Organization President, Keegan McGarry. The Catholic community at Georgia Tech is alive an thriving thanks to your generosity and commitment to our mission. Fr. Josh said in his homily that if you are worried about the future of our faith and the direction of our country and the world, come to the Catholic Center and see what the students here are doing! They are truly amazing. Thank you for your continued support!

Fr. Josh welcomes guests in picture on the left. Keegan McGarry gives State of the GTCC address in picture to the right.

Development Update

Patty Schmitt, Development Director, IM'88

Our May YTD numbers show that we're poised to reach our target in June, the end of our fiscal year. Your prayers and financial support have carried us through this entire year and made our work possible. We're blessed to have a wonderful community of benefactors - our extended family!

As Fr. Josh stated in his Chaplain's Corner, we are undertaking the Rebuild The Temple Campaign to renovate our 33 year old Chapel. Phase I is funded and underway. We're planning a fundraising Gala and Silent Auction on March 1st, 2019 to help with Phases 2 and 3So save the date! If you joined us at our last Gala, you know a fabulous time is in store!

If you feel called to help us rebuild the temple, please make a donation to our Chapel Fund. Every dollar helps. Thank you and God bless you!

Calling all Volunteers!

Parents, alums, and friends: The GTCC needs you! If you feel called to support the students of Georgia Tech in their faith journey, one way of doing this is by volunteering for our Gala Auction Committee. Leading this effort are Mrs. Kelly Todd, GTCC honorary member, and Patty Schmitt, Development Director. We need many hands to aquire and donate items for auction and help with other tasks in order to put on a fantastic auction. Both local and out-of-town help is welcome. Please, prayerfully consider volunteering on our Auction committee. Contact Patty Schmitt or Kelly Todd for more details or questions or call Patty at 770-298-4296. Thank you!!!
Upcoming Events

July 19 - RENEW
August 16-24 - Fall Welcome Week 

August 20 - First Day of Fall Semester
Support the Catholic Center at Georgia Tech by donating through the following links!