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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “Blue House”

Busy Person’s Retreat

Last week, I participated in the BCC’s second annual Busy Person’s Retreat. The BCC offers a variety of programs, including evening retreats, loads of different faith-sharing groups, and this Busy Person’s Retreat. (You can see some of the options here.) This retreat ran from Monday-Thursday last week, with a quick orientation and lunch on Sunday after our weekly Mass.

The Busy Person’s Retreat is particularly interesting because it was designed specifically for college students. Each student is paired with a spiritual director — this will be an adult to whom you can talk. I worked with a woman who is part of the archdiocese offices. Here’s what the retreat entailed:

  • Orientation and lunch on Sunday
  • Commit to praying for 30 min each day of the retreat on your own, using set readings and reflection questions as a guide
  • Meet with your spiritual director for 30 min each day after having completed the prayer
  • Attend optional prayer services at 5 pm Monday-Wednesday and Mass followed by supper at 5:30 pm Thursday.

The retreat is designed, obviously enough, for the busy person. This is why the time commitment is broken into small, half-hour chunks. I enjoyed both the prayer time and the conversations with the woman helping me during the retreat. The prayer showed me I had more time for reflection in the middle of the day than I thought I did; the conversation was wonderful because I usually don’t talk about my spirituality in a relaxed setting with only one other person.

I also really enjoyed the retreat because of Butler’s beautiful weather. I spent all but one of my reflection times outside on a bench or in the rock garden behind Butler’s carillon bell tower. Butler is absolutely beautiful in the fall. You don’t have to participate in a spiritual activity to gain a sense of calm — just sit outside to do your homework.


I’m sharing all this to demonstrate all the unique opportunities Butler students have. This retreat was open to all — and how often do you get to have casual dinners and lunches with the wife of the president of the university? You know Butler is a small school when you can talk about religion while sharing the president’s wife’s strawberry rhubarb cobbler. I have not talked much with either Mr. or Mrs. Danko, but they both seem extremely nice, and I really like Mrs. Danko.

I also want to point out that I had more time than I thought I would for college spirituality both when I entered as a freshman and now. If you are interested in exploring spirituality, the Blue House offers a wide variety of options.

Welcome Week: Butler Catholic Community

I’ve written about the Butler Catholic Community before, so if you are new, you might want to peruse these links about the BCC.

The BCC participates in three big events during Welcome Week. Monday night, we were part of the ice cream social at the Blue House. Tuesday afternoon, we had a table at Block Party. And this past Sunday, we held our first Mass of the semester in the Reilly Room in Atherton Union.

Welcome Week Mass is one of the biggest of the year, since new students often come with their families. I would guess there were about three hundred people. This year I helped with the Mass, introducing myself with the leadership team, helping with ministries and set-up, and talking a bit about how I connected the first reading to the life of a college student. (When Solomon prays for wisdom, he asks for an understanding heart, not an understanding mind. I’ve found it’s much harder to have a wise heart, to know the right way to relate with other people.)

If you are interested in hearing more about the BCC or about other spirituality groups on campus, just send me a comment!

Links related to the BCC: BCC Facebook page, BCC website, and the Blue House.

——

There are cameras at some of these events. Fr. Jeff really like pictures… There are a few ways to cope with having your picture taken:

1. Be really awkward and look away while the picture is being taken.

(look away, look away!)

2. Strike a “natural” pose as if you were in the midst of stimulating conversation.

(oh, what a good point you just made!)

3. Realize your picture was taken only later. This requires not effort but supreme obliviousness.

(It is a sad fact that this picture was completely candid, and I do in fact look like that in real life.)

4. Throw yourself into the merriment enthusiastically and unreservedly.

(goooo BCC! and people who wear blue shirts!)

Welcome Week Ice Cream

Sorry it’s been so long. In the week since you’ve heard from me, I flew to Chicago, visited my first IKEA ever (and purchased eight picture frames), drove to Butler in Indianapolis, moved in/helped others with move in, organized my entire room, participated in Welcome Weekend activities…

Welcome Week is hectic, no matter how you are involved with college. Examples:

  • Returning students: you have to move in — without all the help of previous years.
  • Professors and staff members: you have to gear up for the beginning of the semester.
  • Parents: it’s all about seeing children safely to school — without forgetting necessary items like toothbrushes.
  • New students: You not only have to do all the above (move in, get ready for schoolwork, and remember your pillowcases), but you have the million activities of Welcome Week as well.

Welcome Week at Butler is about orientation and transition — meeting new friends. You can view the complete schedule here. Events include:

  • Play Fair (doing silly things on the mall)
  • Meeting with students in your major in your class for orientation games
  • All reading the same book and meeting the author (my year was Listening is an Act of Love; this year was Farm City)
  • Late-night activities in the Reilly Room (casino themed games this year)
  • Block Party, where all the clubs and student organizations have tables on the Mall
  • Taking your class picture on the lawn in front of Clowes Hall
  • Other open houses — like the Blue House ice cream social

When I arrived at the Blue House last night at 8:45 to help with the ice cream social which was supposed to start at 9 pm, I thought my watch might be slow. The line stretched on for ages, and apparently people had arrived as early as 8:30!

The Blue House, or the Center for Faith and Vocation, hosts an ice cream social during Welcome Week. Different spirituality organizations are stationed around the Blue House with ice cream toppings to share (as well as information on their particular spirituality group, if a student should be interested). I met loads of new freshmen. LOADS.

This year’s event was the largest ever. We actually ran out of ice cream within an hour! Next year, more ice cream, more ice cream social. Check, check.

College Spirituality: The Blue House

I’m part of the Butler Catholic Community, which is one of the many spirituality groups on campus. I don’t know too, too much about the others, but there really should be something for everybody. The Blue House is a house (painted blue) on campus, properly known as the Center for Faith and Vocation. Here you can find many faith groups if you are interested. The Blue House will actually have an ice cream social from 9 to 11 pm on Monday, August 22. Stop by for a tasty treat!

Many students find themselves thinking more deeply about vocation during college. The Blue House’s statement on vocation speaks better than I can — vocational questions are not all about religion. I think their ideas about vocation relate just as well to choosing a major or picking up a hobby as finding a faith group.

With that in mind, I would encourage new students to stop by the spirituality-related tables during Block Party on Tuesday, August 23 from 5 – 7 pm, where the Blue House will have a table. Whether you want to discuss different views of God, meditate, join a faith-based organization, ask questions about spirituality, or even just have a quiet place to study, the Blue House can help. I find it’s an excellent place to write papers — it’s quiet, there’s a microwave to heat up my lunch, and the wonderful staff talk in soothing voices. :)

The summary of this post? The Blue House is a great resource for college students of any spiritual persuasion, especially those who are uncertain or questioning.

Some services the Blue House offers:

  • Meditation
  • Movie Night
  • Big Questions (a moderated lunch discussion on topics like Secular Humanism and Interfaith Action:  Is There Room for the ‘Non-Believer’?)
  • Confidential advising services — i.e. chatting about what you want to do with your life

Technology Fast

If you are reading this, I am away from my computer right now. And my cell phone. And my iPod.

I’m writing this Thursday morning, but it will be published at the start of our Lenten Technology Fast. The Butler Catholic Community is hosting a fast from communication and entertainment technology from Thursday evening to Friday evening, followed by a Peace Walk and a dinner at the Center for Faith and Vocation (aka, the Blue House). The event is open to the entire campus.

Random photo of the BCC Mardi Gras dinner inside the Blue House

As the Catholic priest on campus, Fr. Jeff, says, the purpose of the fast is not to “diss” or dismiss technology. It is to stop using it long enough for us to realize how much we rely on it, how much time goes into it. It should be interesting.

Technology use for schoolwork is exempt from the fast, but I think I’ll be able to put off any tech-related work for the weekend. I’m unplugging. Are you?

Ironically, we have a Facebook event page.

Q&A: Butler Catholic Community

Once again, a senior in high school emailed me with a list of excellent questions. This time, the focus was on the Butler Catholic Community. As I told her, I am so glad she asked because I’ve been meaning to write about the BCC. Here is part of the letter I wrote her:

First, here’s a bit of my own religious background. I was raised in the Catholic Church, but I’ve always gone to public school. I have nothing against Catholic schools and think they can be quite valuable, but I am very glad I went to public school. It was the right place for me, and I got used to being exposed to a bunch of different and sometimes contradictory ideas. Coming to Butler from my East Coast public school system actually felt like a smaller world demographically and (a bit) ideologically. So we have somewhat different situations.

That said, I understand your concerns. Nevertheless, I believe faith grows through questioning; what has survived testing is always stronger. College is where many people (free for the first time from parental influence and from the same friends and places they’ve always known) can find out whom they really want to be. If you are committed to your faith, I think you will find like-minded people wherever you go in your life. I know I have.

How do you join the Catholic Community?

The BCC is not like a club. Just show up at Mass, volunteer to help during the services, attend retreats and community service projects. You can be as involved as you want to be. We have a table at Block Party (a big event before classes start where every organization has a table on the quad; people can check out and sign up for all sorts of things.). You can sign up on our listserve to get emails about BCC events, and you can also sign up to receive a short prayer every morning. I am part of the leadership team, and we meet regularly to discuss programming and such. This year there is also a newly formed service committee that plans service projects.

Father Jeff

What kinds of activities does the BCC sponsor?

Well, we have Mass every Sunday on campus. I am currently in charge of finding people to help during Mass, so you have the opportunity to be a communion minister, lector, or alter server. A student offers a short witness on the readings before Mass every week. There is also a midweek Mass most weeks.

We always have a freshmen retreat in September (it’s actually the upcoming Friday, and I’m so excited. It’s one of my favorite events). We’ve had sophomore walking retreats in the mornings, a men’s/women’s retreat, and some other activities at night. There are faith-sharing groups and even a group that meets once a week to discuss spirituality for college students, using the lives of the saints as an outline. A group of students even went to Honduras during the summer!

The priest, Father Jeff, offers Reconciliation. We have food pantry dates, assorted one-time service projects, tutoring local students, adoration, and prayer services. There’s usually a Mardi Gras dinner, and there are services on campus during days like Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Once we even baptized a baby!

Outside the Blue House

So you can see that there are lots of options. There’s lots of information on the BCC website.

If you are not Catholic or are interested in the interfaith opportunities, stop by the Blue House. There are loads of spirituality-type organizations available.

When and where is Mass held?

The time sometimes varies, but Sunday Mass is at 1 pm in the large reception room (the Johnson Room) in a building on campus called Robertson Hall. Midweek Mass is at 5 pm this semester in the little room in the Center for Faith and Vocation on campus. (The Center is painted a light shade of blue, so everyone calls it the Blue House.) That Mass lasts only about twenty minutes or so.

freshmen retreat

Are there any retreats?

I already mentioned this in the “activities” question. Usually retreats run from about six pm to midnight on a Friday night. Sometimes we go off campus: We’ve gone to the nearby St. Thomas, and I went to a convent last year with the women’s retreat. I highly recommend the freshmen retreat. I went as a new student and helped last year; I plan to help out again this year.

service in Honduras

Remember, if you have any questions you would like me to answer, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! (My turnover time seems to be about a week.)