UW-Oshkosh student spends 1st weekend of spring break promoting Bishop’s Appeal

By Benjamin Wideman | For The Compass | March 25, 2015

Mrozinsky tells her home parish that Appeal benefits university’s Newman Center programs

TWO RIVERS — Molly Mrozinsky could have spent this past weekend sleeping in and relaxing.

After all, that’s what many University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh students probably did on the first two days of their week-long spring break.

Molly Mrozinsky, a nursing major at UW-Oshkosh, is pictured at her home parish of St. Peter the Fisherman in Two Rivers. During weekend Masses March 21 and 22, she shared with parishioners how the Bishop’s Appeal benefits the UW-Oshkosh Newman Center’s outreach to college students. (Benjamin Wideman | For The Compass)
Molly Mrozinsky, a nursing major at UW-Oshkosh, is pictured at her home parish of St. Peter the Fisherman in Two Rivers. During weekend Masses March 21 and 22, she shared with parishioners how the Bishop’s Appeal benefits the UW-Oshkosh Newman Center’s outreach to college students. (Benjamin Wideman | For The Compass)

But Mrozinsky, a 22-year-old nursing major from Francis Creek, instead traveled back home to give presentations at each of the weekend’s four Masses at her parish, St. Peter the Fisherman.

Her goal was to encourage parishioners to donate to the annual Bishop’s Appeal, which in part helps support UW-Oshkosh’s Newman Center, located on the heart of the campus at 800 Elmwood Ave.

The center’s mission is “to invite and engage members of the campus community to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the power and working of the Holy Spirit as life-long disciples in his church.”

The Bishop’s Appeal accounts for 91 percent of the Newman Center’s budget, so money provided from the Appeal is critical to keeping the center open and active in ministry. It helps fund programs such as retreats, men’s and women’s groups, and Spirit to Spirit mentoring with staff members.

“My faith has grown because of my involvement (at the Newman Center),” Mrozinsky said. “This is all made possible through people … supporting the Bishop’s Appeal.”

She added that the Newman Center “provides students and young adults with the perfect place to come together as a community and grow in their faith.”

“I feel a great sense of community at the Newman Center, and I’m bettering myself by being part of it,” Mrozinsky said.

Mrozinsky graduated from Roncalli High School in 2011 and is on track to receive her bachelor’s degree from UW-Oshkosh in December 2016.

Students like Mrozinsky are increasingly flocking to the Newman Center, as evidenced by the Sunday Mass attendance over the years. In fall 2012, an average of 20 people attended Sunday Mass there. That number increased to 50 in fall 2013 and 58 in spring 2014. This past fall, that figure jumped to 79.

The Newman Center received about $12,000 in grants last year through the Catholic Foundation. Those grants helped them implement ChristLife: An Evangelization Process, as well as a Welcome Week.

Mrozinsky has led a small group in the ChristLife program.

Part of an ongoing series about ministries that receive support for the Bishop's Appeal.
Part of an ongoing series about ministries that receive support from the Bishop’s Appeal.

“At ChristLife, we come together and share a meal, listen to (Fr. Jason Blahnik, the Catholic Campus Ministry director at UW-Oshkosh) teach about an aspect of our faith,” she said. “For example, (recently) we dove into deeper discussion about God being our Father and what that truly means to us as followers of Christ. Then we break up into small groups for further discussion.

“When Fr. Jason asked me to be a small group leader I was very excited, because I had been a member of the first group to participate in ChristLife and I knew just how much it impacted my faith. I was able to become closer to Christ, not only as my savior, but as my friend.”

Mrozinsky noted that students and young adults at the Newman Center also help in the community, like volunteering at the Domestic Violence Center.

She said the Bishop’s Appeal is beneficial to not only the Newman Center, but people throughout the Diocese of Green Bay.

“There are many more programs funded by the Bishop’s Appeal developed to bring people closer to Christ, just as I have been brought closer to Christ at the Newman Center,” she said.

Mrozinsky was one of five students to give Bishop’s Appeal presentations at their home parishes. Talks also were given at Most Blessed Sacrament in Oshkosh; St. John-Sacred Heart in Sherwood; Holy Spirit in Kimberly-Darboy; and St. Paul in Combined Locks.

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