Metanoia helps Newman students grow in their faith

Fr. Adam Grelinger poses with members of Newman University’s Metanoia group at a dinner last fall. The group focuses on growing in their faith through prayer and activities together. (Courtesy photo)

Many college students find it challenging to live their Catholic faith.

Fr. Adam Grelinger, the chaplain at Newman University in Wichita, helped establish a community at the college for those who want to not only maintain their faith but develop it.

“I’ve learned in my time at Newman that that can be difficult – even for students who maybe come into college really wanting to live their faith,” he said. “Sometimes it’s difficult if your friends are into other things and aren’t prioritizing prayer – that can be difficult for you to continue to grow in your faith.”

The community, known as Metanoia, is made up of 13 students who live on the third floor of Beata Residence Hall. Metanoia is a Greek word that means changing one’s mind and has a theological connotation of conversion, reformation, and repentance.

“This intentional community, hopefully makes it easier for students to continue to grow and deepen their faith,” Fr. Grelinger said.

Witness their faith on campus

“I think we’ve seen that over the last few years and it’s pretty cool. Another thing is that I think they’re also a great witness to the rest of campus that college students can take the time to pray and it doesn’t make you weird to be a Christian.”

Members of Metanoia are expected to pray Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours together.

“They gather each night around nine o’clock and they pray that together,” he said. “That’s one of the things that is kind of required. They also take adoration slots each week and help with our Sunday Mass and support each other living the Christian life.”

They also gather for a weekly Bible study, visit parishes for daily Mass together, eat together at Sunday brunches, and go out for ice cream, Fr. Grelinger said.

Hoping for a bigger class next year

He hopes to have 15 students in Metanoia next year, but they will be under the tutelage of Fr. Edmund M. Herzog, who will succeed Fr. Grelinger on July 1. Fr. Herzog was also appointed as a theology professor at Newman U. Fr. Grelinger has been appointed pastor of Holy Savior Parish in Wichita.

Fr. Grelinger said it has been a blessing to get to know the students and to help them grow in their faith. “It’s an intense time to be in college,” he said. “It’s been a ton of fun and kept me young.”

He said he’ll miss the faculty and staff, the “special liveliness that is college life,” hopes that he has contributed to an improvement in campus life, and that Metanoia will continue to grow.