Student org spotlight: Catholics at Calvin

Fat Tuesday signifies the beginning of the season of Lent, and it is also the last day to indulge before the 40-day span of Lent. For some, this means eating one last piece of chocolate, meat or candy, and for others this may be the last day to hit the snooze button or procrastinate on homework.

The Catholics at Calvin club, although not an official student org, is a student-led group uniting Catholics on campus and giving them a platform to discuss, learn and grow.

JoAnna Bormann, a fourth year student and co-leader of the club, started the club to create an outlet for Catholic students.

“We wanted to give [Catholic students] a way to talk about some of the things they are going through and a way to get them to church if they need ride,” stated Bormann. “And we wanted it to be open to other people who are not Catholics because there’s a lot of misconceptions that people have about Catholicism.”

Catholics at Calvin offers students rides to church every week and has occasional meetings that are posted on their Facebook page.

Although Bormann stated that her experience being a Catholic at Calvin has been overall very positive, she did express the need for a group of like-minded individuals.

“There was one experience on the floor, the person didn’t know I was Catholic, and we started talking about Catholicism at a Bible study and she said, ‘I kinda think Catholics are like a cult,’” said Bormann. “I never took it personally, but that is one of the misconceptions people have.”

“I think because of the group, I at least have people to talk to about my faith and it’s not me constantly explaining what I believe,” said Bormann.

Catholic students are in the minority at Calvin. Bormann advised that they reach out to other students if they are feeling lonely.

“You are not alone here,” said Bormann. “There are other Catholics and you can find them. … Just find people, it doesn’t have to be Catholic people, just people who are willing to accept you.”

After last Tuesday’s chapel, the Catholics at Calvin club passed out paczkis, a Polish donut consumed largely on Fat Tuesday.

The paczkis were a success and popular with the students, running out minutes after chapel ended. Some students were unaware of the club until this event.

“The paczkis were good,” stated junior Mark Davis. “I did not know there was there was a Catholic org at Calvin.”

“I think it went well,” said Bormann. “It was good advertising.”

Students can join Catholics at Calvin by liking them on Facebook or emailing Bormann at jmb89.