By Stephanie Garza
This 2016 Fall semester welcomed two members to the Our Lady of the Lake Campus Ministry. Friar Bryan Hajovsky, OFM Conv, MDiv and Sister Patti Lohre, IWBS talked with the Lake Front about their goals and aspirations for supporting and promoting the spiritual health of OLLU students and staff. Friar Bryan serves as the Director of University Ministry and Sister Patti is the University Minister and Program Coordinator, she returns to OLLU after attending as a student.
Both Friar Bryan and Sister Patti have history in San Antonio. Friar Bryan was born in San Antonio and Sister Patti is an Our Lady of the Lake University alumna having graduated last May. “It was very much Providence that got me here,” said Sister Patti. They are both very excited and happy to be back and ministering to students at the university. you will most likely see both Friar Bryan and Sister Patti around the campus helping with different events and praying for students and their families. “We are often networking with a faculty and staff, discussing whatever needs to happen with any type of event,” said Friar Bryan.
Sister Patti and Friar Bryan also work with current students teaching them how to assist their peers in need. “We have student ministers who are great, they are learning how to be ministers and we want to [serve as models] so hopefully they learn that and be there for their friends or maybe someone they don’t know on campus,” said Friar Bryan. Sister Patti also oversees the
Sacramental prep class, which offers guidance to students seeking to minister.
While both Sister Patti and Friar Bryan’s day can be pretty busy, they want everyone on campus to know that they are there first and foremost to serve students and faculty in need of spiritual guidance. “Wherever our day is at, if someone comes by we are going to stop for them because that’s our main purpose here. Each person is the important one, if someone comes to us and they need our time we stop and we will be there for them,” said Sister Patti.
The ministry hopes to help students with the many issues and challenges they face throughout their academic journey and university life. “Our mission is to walk along with any student, faculty member, and any staff member. We don’t have all the answers but we are glad to walk with people so that they grow in their own spirituality.” Friar Bryan echoes that sentiment. “We are here for the spirit…we are literally the sounding boards and safe space for them to come. We are trying to nourish the whole person,” he said.
He also added nobody is turned away, no matter what religious affiliation. “We are here for you,” he said, “whether you are Catholic or not, Christian or non-Christian, please know that we are here for you. We want to help you in any way that we can.”
They encourage students to check out their Facebook page, there they’ll find posts and tons of pictures from Sister Patti and Friar Bryan. “We have fun postings on Facebook,” she said. Sister Patti takes most of the pictures. “That is my hobby, I have been taking photos for most of my life,” Aside from photography, she is also a published author. Her book, released in 2014, is titled Open Your Eyes, Open Your Heart, and is filled with original poems and beautiful photography. If you’d like to check out her book it is available at the campus bookstore.
Campus Ministry is located in Elliot House. For students wishing to visit and learn more about University Ministry, or maybe just want to stop by and say “hello,” Sister Patti and Friar Bryan welcome you anytime.