NDSU students celebrate bisonCatholic week 2017

by Tara Splonskowski | bisonCatholic

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Matt Lozano leads attendees in prayer while speaking at St. Paul’s Catholic Newman Center as part of the bisonCatholic Week celebration. (Tara Splonskowski)

The NDSU campus was buzzing during its annual bisonCatholic Week Celebration, Jan. 22-28. In celebration of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, St. Paul’s Newman Center hosted events every night for its student population and the surrounding community.

This year, the students and parishioners gathered for a night of fun with a Talent Show on Sunday night to kick off the week. Then on Monday, Bishop Folda celebrated Mass for all the students and faculty of NDSU at the Newman Center and stayed afterward to eat and visit with everyone in the community at the Lasagna Feed, hosted by the Newman Knights of Columbus. The Sisters of Life, Sister Grace Dominic and Sister Therese Marie, were guests of the week and spoke to more than 60 women on Tuesday evening about “Courageous Women” and living as a Catholic woman in today’s world. During the women’s talk, another guest speaker, Casey Dynan, spoke to just over 50 men about being “dangerous” for God and battling the effects of pornography in our lives and culture.

The main keynote speaker for bisonCatholic week this year was Matt Lozano, from Heart of the Father Ministries. Matt is the son of Neal Lozano, author of the book “Unbound.” Matt’s first talk on campus was to the students on “The Five Keys to Freedom.” He engaged all those at the talk by having everyone stand up and practice verbally rejecting, in the name of Jesus, some of the general things in life that often have us bound. Bobbi Hennessey, a sophomore at NDSU, said, “I never realized how many things actually affect me negatively as a student, emotionally and physically, until rejecting them out-loud at Matt’s talk. It was a new and powerful experience for me.”

Matt’s second talk was on Thursday at the Newman Center on “The Power of Forgiveness.” Teena Fischer, another NDSU student, was greatly impacted by the Forgiveness talk. “It made me realize that forgiveness isn’t a feeling, it’s an act; and that the feeling of forgiveness comes after the act. For God to be able to heal your heart, you have to ask for it and act on it by forgiving.”

During the week, about 20 students were able to meet with the sisters and Father Joseph Christensen for spiritual direction. Monsignor Gregory Schlesselmann commented, “I think it is great for the speakers to offer spiritual direction to the students, because it affords the students an immediate opportunity to explore the questions that the talks and events occasion in their hearts.”

The rest of the week focused on community building and fostering new relationships won over the course of the week with new students with a Casino Night. Finally, there was a formal Dinner and Dance for the students on Saturday evening. The week was a huge success once again! Videos of the talent show can be found on the bisonCatholic YouTube channel (bisonCatholic2). Next year’s keynote speaker will be Steve Wood, who spoke at the recent Men’s Redeemed conference in Fargo last fall. Continued prayers and support of the bisonCatholic community are greatly appreciated!