I just returned back from the Pennsylvania Catholic Campus Ministry Conference which was held at the legendary Hershey Hotel in Hershey, PA. I was the keynote speaker for their state campus ministry conference and that usually means intense work and a trip away from my wife and dog, who often miss me terribly when I’m away.

However, this time was worse–because I was headed to the home of the Hershey Bar. And my wife loves her some chocolate.

And so my wife, for her grace in letting me attend the Conference was given a gift package of Hershey Candies (lots of chocolate but also Jolly Rachers and Twizzlers–also made by Hershey) by the team of Campus Ministers who invited me to speak to them on social networking. She’s in heaven, to say the least. A special thanks to Caitlin Czeh, an old friend and one of Fordham’s best, who serves at Wilkes College as an interfaith campus minister, for inviting me to be the speaker.

One big takeaway for me was the overwhelming positive spirit that the Pennsylvania Campus Ministers has throughout the two days. Some came in afraid of social networking but also didn’t simply eschew the practice entirely. Some caution perhaps was needed and is needed with being on Facebook or Linked In, but we can’t really avoid it as much as we’d like to. It’s a main method of communication.

In fact, the positive spirit led me to see that they were united in purpose. They were most interested in bringing people to experience Christ–and to do so in a non-creepy manner–in a way that is healthy and expresses who they are and what they are proud of with regards to their ministry. It was great to spend time with them and it renewed my energy for my own ministry–one that continues to bring me life.

Perhaps, a little chocolate luxury goes a long way? =)

So today, pray for my colleagues and for Campus Ministry. My our patron John Newman intercede for us and bring us peace. May we meet students where we are and humbly submit ourselves to God’s service. And may the love that God has given to us pour out on our students, faculties and staffs and unite us in love for one another, so that we might bring God’s Kingdom a bit closer to the campus.

For now, my friends, in Pennsylvania, until we meet again…

May God hold you and those you serve in the palm of his hand…and may his other hand be feeding you a Hershey Bar.