Vol. 2, Iss.

3 • November 2006 University Catholic Center

Longhorn Catholic

Ministry Team
Director Fr. Dave Farnum, CSP ext. 14, frdave@utcatholic.org Associate Directors Fr. Ed Koharchik, CSP ext. 12, edcsp@utcatholic.org Michelle Goodwin ext. 18, michelle@utcatholic.org Pastoral Staff Fr. Bob Scott, CSP bscott@staustin.org Deacon John De La Garza, Jr. john@utcatholic.org Director of Development Amber Fogarty ext. 20, amber@utcatholic.org Business Administrator Tom Johnson ext. 11, tom@utcatholic.org Receptionist Beth Boren ext. 10, frontdesk@utcatholic.org Administrative Assistant Brandon Kraft kraft@utcatholic.org Phone: 512.476.7351

At present, there are four University of Texas grads in the seminary for the Diocese of Austin: Kevin Jackson, Mark Lavergne, Matt Mumaugh and Jonathan Raia (profiles on page 5). We are very proud of our Longhorns who have chosen to pursue a vocation to the priesthood. Father Mike Sis, the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Austin, tells us, “All baptized members of the church are called by God to the vocation of holiness, whether that call is lived as a married or single person, a priest or deacon, or a member of a religious community. Fostering vocations to the priesthood is the responsibility of all of us.” Fostering vocations of holiness is a call I take seriously as director of Campus Ministry at the University Catholic Center. Each month I, along with my associate, Paulist Father Ed Koharchik, host a dinner or event with a group of UT students to discern vocations. Regularly 20-25 men come together to talk about priesthood, the permanent diaconate, marriage, and the single life. One month we will invite a guest speaker like seminarian Jonathan Raia or Father Mike Sis, or Deacons John De La Garza and Tom Johnson. Another month we will meet with Bishop Gregory Aymond at Project Andrew or attend a dinner hosted by the Paulists in their residence at St. Austin Church. Every Catholic man and woman is obligated by their baptism to consider God’s desire for them. That’s what discerning a vocation is all about. According to Mark Lavergne, a current seminarian: “It was at the University Catholic Center that I first discovered what a joy it is to fellowship with and to serve other members of the Mystical Body of Christ. I’ll never forget giving a talk on Awakening and just being up there proclaiming, and thinking Longhorn to myself, ‘Ya know, I could Seminarians do this for the rest of my life.’ But ultimately I think it’s the friendships you make, the people you get to know that causes you to realize the Church isn’t just a building. It’s the people. I couldn’t be a priest for a building. But for these people? Heck yes.” —Fr. Dave Farnum, CSP

Mass Schedule
Sunday Mass 9AM 11:30AM, 5PM & 8PM Daily Mass Mon, Wed, Fri: 12:05PM Tues, Thurs: 12:30PM

Turn to page 5 for profiles on each Longhorn seminarian.

Longhorn Catholic
A MESSAGE from the Director...
Things are hoppin’ here at the UCC! Longhorn Awakening #41 was a huge success with 60 retreatants and 100 staff praising God as the Body of Christ on fire. STRONG, Fr. Dave Farnum, CSP our youth retreat team, is bringing the Good News to middle and high school students throughout the Diocese of Austin. Mu Epsilon Theta and Lambda Omega Alpha have record numbers of pledges this Fall. Deacon John and his wife Dorothy worked with a host of UCC members to produce an excellent marriage preparation weekend for 25 engaged couples. Father Ed and Michelle Goodwin hosted a dinner for our Muslim friends during their holy month of Ramadan—over 65 people attended. I convened a Visioning Day with students and resident community to discover shared dreams for the future of the UCC. So many opportunities to celebrate the Catholic faith at The University of Texas! In the whirl of all this activity, I read the words spoken recently by Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father warned of the danger of falling into “hardness of heart” as a result of excessive daily occupations. On August 20, Benedict spoke of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) as an example of how to balance prayer with activity. The saint wrote in a letter to Pope Eugene III: “See where these accursed occupations can lead you, if you continue to lose yourself in them—without leaving anything of yourself for yourself.” Benedict XVI said: “It is necessary to pay attention to the dangers of excessive activity, regardless of one’s condition and occupation, observes the saint, because—as he said to the Pope of that time, and to all Popes and to all of us—numerous occupations often lead to ‘hardness of heart,’ ‘they are no more than suffering for the spirit, loss of intelligence and dispersion of grace.’” “This admonition is valid for all kinds of occupations, including those inherent to the governance of the Church,” the Pope added. “How useful for us also is this call to the primacy of prayer!” The Pope continued, “For him [St. Bernard], love is the greatest force of the spiritual life. God, who is love, creates man out of love and out of love rescues him.” While the University Catholic Center is a center of holy activity, it strives also to be a house of prayer. In the midst of busy schedules and “burn the candle at both ends” mentality of some college students, the UCC and its designated spaces and times of prayer help call us all to the primacy of prayer. May God bless us all with a rich experience of prayer.

UCC Exes
Debra Watson (’73) works as an acting coach in California and Texas. Last year, she recorded her first CD with her band, “The Smokin’ Aces.” The new CD can be heard online at CDbaby.com/dwatson. Erika and Johnny Vargas (’96) welcomed baby girl, Alexa, on September 27, 2006. Alexa is preceded by J Christopher born in December 2003. The Vargas family now calls New Braunfels home and makes a living with several Internet-based businesses. Matt (’98) and Christina (’97) Soderberg welcomed a baby girl, Macy Christina, on August 15th, 2006. Vanessa Luna (’00) recently became licensed to practice law in Texas. She now resides in Chicago and hopes to become licensed to practice law in Illinois as well. Vanessa is making wedding plans for December 30 in Houston. Do you want to share your news with Longhorn Catholics? If so, email your update to amber@utcatholic.org.

Upcoming Events
Mu Epsilon Theta 20th Anniversary For more information, email: MuEp20@utcatholic.org

JANUARY 19-20, 2007

Annual Date Auction benefitting the UCC For more details, email: dateauction@utcatholic.org

JANUARY 27, 2007

Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ Speaking about the death penalty; Sister Helen is the author of #1 best seller, “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States.” ALL are welcome! November 2006

FEBRUARY 14, 2007, 3:30PM

University Catholic Center 

Longhorn Catholic

welcome week 2006 - 2007
Imagine you set foot on the University of Texas campus for the first time. With hundreds of students in a single class and dorms that hold thousands, UT can be an intimidating place where new students often feel lost in a crowd. The University Catholic Center provides a much-needed home away from home where students can worship, study, and make friends within a supportive community of faith. The UCC kickedoff the academic year with Welcome Week, a jam-packed week of events to bring students, new and old alike, into the community and show-off all the UCC has to offer. Starting on the first day of class when so many students are looking to get involved in new organizations, the UCC sponsored an information table on campus to hand out everything from candy to Mass times and ministry brochures. All the UCC student groups participated with flyers and volunteers and actively engaged UT students on their way to class. Several students also handed out 850 cold water bottles over two days with Mass times printed on the label to provide relief to students during the hot Austin days. Welcome Week, this year September 4-9, started with a bang as the Catholic fraternity, Lambda Omega Alpha, hosted a Labor Day BBQ and pool party to say goodbye to summer. Tuesday featured a casual dinner and game night sponsored by Compass Bible Study, giving active students and new faces a chance to relax and get to know each other better. Even the ministry team, Fr. Dave, Fr. Ed, and Michelle Goodwin grabbed a bite to eat with the new students. Couples for Christ Youth, a new group to the Center this year, organized an amazing night of praise and worship music on Wednesday, while the Catholic sorority, Mu Epsilon Theta, put on a Bunco game night on Thursday. Welcome Week culminated in the annual Welcome Retreat which literally filled the building with students. Organized by STRONG, the resident youth ministry team, the retreat was a rousing success with 55 participants and over 70 members of the student community on staff. All of the events were a success with 20-30+ new students attending any given night. By the end of the week, students were hooked on the UCC with all organizations enjoying a huge spike in participation. New people crowded the Center’s halls and study rooms at night, attended daily night prayer, and bonded with each other in community. With an energetic start to the year, UT’s Catholic community welcomed another generation to the University Catholic Center! —Stephanie Maher, Class of ‘07

Stewardship Corner
First Ever Matching Gift Sunday a Huge Success

...offering gifts of time, talent & treasure

On Sunday, November 5th, the University Catholic Center held its first ever matching gift Sunday. A generous benefactor offered to match the offertory collection, up to $5,000. A typical Sunday collection at the UCC is between $2,500 and $4,000. On November 5th, the generosity of the UCC community shined once again. The total amount given during the Sunday collections at the four Masses totaled $14,876. With the $5,000 benefactor gift, the UCC raised $19,876 in one day. Thanks to all for your support. If you’re interested in matching a Sunday collection in the Spring, please contact Amber Fogarty at 512-476-7351 x20 or email her at amber@utcatholic.org.

University Catholic Center 

November 2006

Longhorn Catholic

ministry spotlight
Catholic Longhorns for Life Celebrate “Respect Life” Month
This year’s Respect Life month kept Catholic Longhorns for Life on its feet! The group’s activities including running the UCC’s baby bank fundraising campaign, hosting prayer vigils and movie screenings, bringing in guest speakers from the Diocesan Office of Pro-Life Activities, the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, and the Texas Coalition to End the Death Penalty, and attending a benefit dinner with guest speaker Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life. To wrap up the month, Longhorns for Life members presented the UCC black bag collection to the Annunciation Maternity Home at their March for Moms fundraiser (see picture, right) and participated in Austin’s 7th Annual March to Stop Executions (see picture, top right). Catholic Longhorns for Life is a pro-life group that works to instill respect for human life at all stages of existence through education, activism, spiritual growth, and volunteerism in our community. For more information on the group, please contact Maria Frederick at clfl@utcatholic.org.

Interfaith Progressive Dinner Hits the UCC
On October 18th, the UCC participated in the annual University Interfaith Progressive Dinner. The Longhorn Catholic students joined their Jewish, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Baptist, Mormon and Muslim brothers and sisters in this great evening of food, fellowship, and prayer. There were approximately 120 students in attendance. The evening began at Texas Hillel, the center for Jewish life at UT, for the first course of the meal. Then the students proceeded to the UCC for the main course. The Latter Day Saints Institute hosted dessert, and the evening ended with an ecumenical prayer service. It was an honor for the UCC to host the main course of this wonderful event and to be a part of encouraging dialogue with our friends of other faith traditions. University Catholic Center

UCC Catholic / Muslim “Iftar” Dinner
On Thursday, October 5, the UCC hosted a communitywide potluck dinner to honor our Muslim brothers and sisters during their holy month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims fast throughout the daytime and break their fast at sundown with a special “Iftar” dinner, a feast to be celebrated with family and friends. Approximately sixty-five people participated at this event, with wonderful food and fellowship being shared. 

November 2006


Holy Trinity Seminary Pre-Theology

Holy Trinity Seminary Pre-Theology

St. Mary’s Seminary II Pre-Theology

St. Mary’s Seminary Pastoral Year

Kevin holds a degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was very active in a Christian fraternity. He interned for State Senator Jane Nelson during his college years and then worked on her staff for several years. “Working in the Texas Senate taught me a lot about leadership and dealing with difficult situations,” he said. His favorite cartoon character is Homer Simpson.

Mark holds a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and enjoys writing; he most recently worked for the diocese’s Pro-life Activities Office. Three years ago he spoke with Bishop Aymond about his discernment. The bishop asked “What is your heart’s deepest longing? What energizes you? What makes you come alive inside?” After nearly three years of pondering those questions, Mark decided to enter into formation.

Matt said that his most recent and profound call to discern the priesthood happened on the first Sunday of Advent 2005, at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. “I was moved to tears of joy in receiving a sense of God’s purpose in my life,” he said. Matt enjoys theater and has played the role of Prince Charming and the Mad Hatter in children’s musical productions in Austin. He also played rugby while a student at the University of Texas in Austin, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

A Houstonian, Jonathan graduated from UT with a double major in Plan II (Liberal Arts) and Spanish in May 2002. He has coached summer league swim teams and been a private swim instructor and says he is a “huge fan” of the television sitcom “Seinfeld.” He was very active at the UCC, and it was during those years that he really “came of age” as a Catholic. “Through the friendships I made and the ministry opportunities I had at the UCC,” he reflects, “my faith was deepened and I was able to discern in my heart God’s call to the priesthood.” He entered seminary for the Diocese of Austin in the fall of 2002 and will, God willing, be ordained a priest in June 2009. November 2006

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