Bishop Tylka meets student leadership during visit to St. Joseph Newman Center

Msgr. Brian Brownsey, chaplain and director of the St. Joseph Newman Center in Peoria, introduced Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka to student leadership teams at the end of a Mass with the Newman community at St. Mark Church on Oct. 18. Pictured are leaders of a campus evangelization movement called New Renaissance, which seeks to form and send students as disciples. The Bradley University students are, from left, Renée Samp, Lindsey Wetle, Thomas Shaw, Johnny Berlinger and Robert Pitts. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

On a night when Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka urged Catholic college students to give their lives to God, he met several who are finding ways to do just that at St. Joseph Newman Center at Bradley University in Peoria.

Bishop Tylka was the celebrant of a 9 p.m. Mass at St. Mark Church on Sunday, Oct. 18. More than 100 students were present, many of them leaders in the Newman community serving Bradley University, Illinois Central College, and the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing.

It was the second stop on Bishop Tylka’s tour of college campus ministry sites in the Diocese of Peoria. (See related story.)

Bishop Tylka celebrates Mass at St. Mark Church in Peoria on Oct. 18 for members of the St. Joseph Newman Center community at Bradley University. The server is Nate Taylor. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

At the end of the Mass, Msgr. Brian Brownsey — chaplain and director of St. Joseph Newman Center and pastor of St. Mark Parish — called forward leaders of three different Catholic student groups who he said “give like crazy of their time and talent” to acknowledge their efforts to Bishop Tylka. The students are members of the Newman Center’s Leadership Council, the New Renaissance evangelization team, and the core team planning Koinonia retreats.

Bishop Tylka thanked the students for their good work and encouraged them to continue.

“We need you going out and inviting others, sharing the experience that we have had encountering Jesus Christ in our lives,” Bishop Tylka told the group.


In his homily, Bishop Tylka reflected on the Gospel story from St. Matthew in which Jesus tells a group of Pharisees who try to trap him with a question about taxes to “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

He asked the college students to consider what we need to give back to God, concluding that it is “our very lives.” Doing so, he said, is our calling and our “path to holiness.”

Encouraging them to recognize they are made in the image of God, Bishop Tylka said they reflect that image when they share the gifts God has given them with others — who are also made in the image of God.

Bishop Tylka greeted the students individually during a “Sunday Social” that followed the Mass outdoors in the Newman Center courtyard.

EDITOR’S NOTE: More photos from Bishop Tylka’s visit to St. Joseph Newman Center have been posted to The Catholic Post’s site on Facebook.

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