Campus Ministry and beyond

By The Beacon | April 20, 2011 9:00pm

(Photo submitted by Tera Jannusch )

By Tera Jannusch, Guest Commentary -- The Beacon

As I come to the conclusion at my time at UP, I have hit a bittersweet ending. There have been many meaningful experiences that made my college experience unique and special, and it's difficult to think about leaving such a life-giving community I see as my home.

Campus Ministry has helped me build a solid foundation for my faith — and I feel I will bring my UP experiences into my work as a nurse in the future. In one of my clinical rotations, I had the opportunity to hold hands and pray with a dying Christian woman hours before her death. Instead of becoming anxious, I just allowed the Holy Spirit to work through my words and this experience really affirmed that my role as a nurse can be a healer and minister, by me serving Christ through patient care. I have learned to integrate my faith into my work as a student nurse and Peer Health Educator in that I hold a holistic health perspective for patient care — caring for mind, body and spirit. We can't underestimate the importance of spiritual health in a patient's overall wellness and healing. I feel so much more comfortable talking about spirituality, faith, resilience and hope with my patients as I finish nursing school — but I did not come to this on my own.

A big part of my growth and formation is due to my involvement in Campus Ministry over the last three years. Campus Ministry has provided me with many opportunities to grow in my Catholic faith, and to find a community of supportive, fun, faith-filled people who share similar values. I have learned what it means to be a leader, an advocate and how to work within a team. Being involved in Encounter leadership teams enabled me to really grow closer to God and others through service, sharing, and prayer. I have had the privilege of joining God Centered Community and coordinating Coffee and Catholicism, in which a group of students hear and discuss a topic of the Catholic faith over a cup of coffee. I am involved in Voice for Life, the pro-life group on campus, and I have become comfortable and eager to engage in activities that defend the dignity of all human life. These opportunities have helped me in my individual formation as a believer of Christ. Additionally, the relationships I've built through these communities have brought me so much happiness. I feel supported, built u, and blessed by a strong and loving community.

I am going to miss the wonderful music and relatable homilies at the Sunday Masses at Chapel of Christ the Teacher. I'm going to miss the opportunity to attend Hall Mass at 10 o'clock at night, such a convenient time for college students, and a great way to conclude my busy day. I am going to miss the opportunities for prayer and spiritual direction that are so readily available. I am going to miss working and learning from my supervisors Josh and Stacey Noem in the Pilot House Campus Ministry Office, along with meeting new faces as they drop into the office. I feel so blessed to have built personal relationships with Holy Cross priests who have been remarkable, relatable, fun people who helped me grow in many ways.

I thank the University of Portland, especially Campus Ministry, for making my experience one I will never forget, but more importantly, for allowing me to grow and integrate my vocations of nursing and Christian ministry in the future. I am deeply grateful, and the University of Portland Community will always be in my prayers. God bless!

Tera Jannusch is a senior nursing major at UP. She can be contacted at

(Photo submitted by Tera Jannusch )