Newman revives Metanoia, Catholic dormitory living

Emily Simon, left, the assistant director of Campus Ministry, and Fr. Adam Grelinger stand in front of Beata Hall at Newman University in Wichita where students taking part in Metanoia will be housed. The hall is named after Sister Beata Netemeyer the first provincial of the Wichita province of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. (Advance photo)

One of the reasons Fr. Adam Grelinger became a priest was because of the more intense connection he made with his faith when he was a part of Metanoia as a student at Newman University.

“It was a community dedicated to supporting one another in the Christian life, to follow Christ, to be disciples as students, and to form really good friendships,” he said last week. “We had a shared prayer life and we held each other accountable. We bonded and helped encourage one another to pray and to have good community.”

Metanoia initially started a decade ago

The 20 students who were a part of Metanoia and lived on the same dormitory floor over a decade ago took part in night prayer, weekly adoration, assisting in campus ministry, and were involved with the celebration of Mass and on-campus retreats.

The movement faded away, but Fr. Grelinger is resurrecting it.

“We want to bring it back because students seem to really desire Christ-centered friendships,” Newman’s chaplain said. “When you’re in the dorms with lots of people it’s a little harder to experience that kind of intentional living with prayer seeking to follow Christ. When you’re with people who are praying, who want to talk about the faith, they are not going to encourage you to do things you don’t want to do.”

Fr. Grelinger said he has begun drafting a Rule of Life for those who will join the new Metanoia that will involve nightly prayer, a commitment of 30 minutes of weekly on-campus adoration, involvement with the Sunday Masses, a commitment to virtuous living and to hold each other accountable for that virtuous life, and to be a part of campus life to witness to other students regarding prayer and living a wholesome life.

Disciples of Christ

“We want them to live intentionally as disciples of Christ,” he said.

Metanoia will not initially be open to freshmen. Current students have been informed about the community and have been invited to apply to be a part of the group.

“We want to make sure they know what the expectations are,” Fr. Grelinger said. “We want people who are going to come to be a part of this to buy-in, to commit to the community, to commit to the way of life and the prayer.”

A scholarship is involved in the program, he added.

“I’m really excited to see what this will do for the lives of the students,” Fr. Grelinger said. “It had a huge impact on my life and really helped me to learn to pray and to find my vocation.. I hope the same goes for many more students. I’m excited to see what the Lord will do with it.”