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Catholic Campus Ministry is a Generational Mandate - An Interview with Mike St. Pierre on the Petrus Development Show

In this episode, Andrew visits with Dr. Mike St. Pierre, Executive Director of Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA).  When Mike joined CCMA in 2015, he was able to bring new life and new energy to the organization. Andrew and Mike discuss CCMA, how Mike decided to leave a successful career in Catholic schools to lead the organization, and about his approach to remote work…even before it was cool. They are also able to discuss the importance of professionalism and how to organize your schedule using an Agile method. Be sure to listen till the end for Andrew's Key Take-Aways. 


Show Notes:

In 1893, Timothy Harrington, founded the Newman Club at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1908, the Federation of Catholic College Students (FCCS) was established at Purdue University. 42 years later, in 1950, the National Newman Chaplains Association was established for ordained chaplains at non-Catholic colleges and universities. And then in 1969, the National Newman Chaplains Association became the Catholic Campus Ministry Association or (CCMA).

 

Background

Husband and father, married 24 years with four beautiful children. He spent the bulk of his professional career working in parishes and ultimately in schools. 

 

Discernment

Is this the dumbest move ever? Or is this of God?

Mike and his wife met with a priest friend to discuss, pray and receive guidance. 

Looking back, he was very close to burnout in his previous role. 

 

CCMA

Is an incredible professional association. The history is that there was an idea that college students needed specific structure and support. This began the creation of college Newman centers. 

CCMA provides both in person and online support and training for those serving college students. 

They want to raise up the next generation of Catholic campus ministers for the good of the church so that the gospel can be brought to every corner of the campus. 

 

Professionalism

Professionalism is just about excellence. We need to pursue excellence in everything that we do. Showing up on time, meeting deadlines, participate, take things seriously, etc. 

 

Campus Ministry

Used to be a dumping ground. Truly, it's fertile ground that simply needs to be tended correctly and can create a flame of growth. 

The campus ministry provides a support system for the students. 

 

Remote Work

It's not going away. But there needs to be guards for your time. Mike doesn't answer calls for the first two hours of the day. Because that will interrupt his workflow and ability to concentrate. They rely more on writing than on phone calls and they try to have fewer meetings. 

It's important to have one tool for organization so that everyone knows where to find information and it cuts down on time looking. Mike and his team are currently learning Agile. 

 

Lightening Round

  1. If you could fund-raise for any organization or cause at any time in history, what would it be?
    • CCMA
  2. If you could get a donor meeting with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
    • Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Is there enough money out there for every organization that's doing good work?
    • Yes, absolutely there is.
  4. What is one piece of advice that you would give your past self?
    • Don't take things so personally because not everything is about you.
  5. Who are 3 people who have most influenced you, professionally?
    • Brother Joe Patrillo, Father Michael Martin, John Erickson
  6. What is one fact about Mike that most people don’t know?
    • The second youngest of 66 first cousins. 
  7. What is a book that you would recommend?
    • A World Without Email by Cal Newport

If you would like to connect with Mike, you can email him directly at [email protected] or you can find more information on their website www.ccmanetwork.org. You can also pick up a copy of Mike's new book "The Five Habits of Prayerful People: a No Excuses Guide to Strengthening Your Relationship with God" and check out his podcast Pausing for Prayer.

 

Andrew's Take-Aways:

  1. The way he framed professionalism. I loved how he said that professionalism is really about pursuing excellence. Being on time for meetings. Returning calls and emails in a timely manner. Ending meetings at the scheduled time. Ironing your shirt every day. Okay, so maybe I don't do that. But being a professional doesn't mean abandoning the passion and heart behind ministry, but about doing the little things well that can lead to problems and frustrations if neglected. 
  2. Mike's approach to work using the Agile model. I have to say that we don’t do this at Petrus, but I think we might begin. I love the idea of creating five week blocks or sprints to give complete focus to accomplishing something that is important to the mission. I can definitely see the practical advantages to this when it comes to orienting resources, focusing attention and being disciplined enough to say no to ideas that appear out of the blue. I can also see a major psychological advantage to this. Feeling fulfilled at the end of a block. Assessing and evaluating progress regularly. Setting priorities instead of lumping everything into the important and urgent matrix. I love the idea and am actively learning more about it. 
  3. Mike's passion about remote work but really his passion and commitment to impactful work. Putting technology to work to help sounds easy but it can be a challenge at times not to let it direct you. You have to be intentional about making it work for you. I also think that remote work is here to stay. It probably won’t be as prevalent as it was in 2020 and 2021, but workers and employers have come to appreciate it in a way that maybe wasn't the case previously. I encourage you to check out the videos on the CCMA YouTube page about remote work and do your part to understand how it can be best utilized. 

 

If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]. Please reach out and I would love to connect. God bless you and your work and I will continue to pray for your success.

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