Friday, December 16, 2011

STARR students create service family at Marian

This has been a stellar semester for our STARR service program. Not only have some 86 students served 800 hours in the Indianapolis community, but bonds have been made amongst students! The study break hosted by Campus Ministry last Friday was evidence of the STARR "family," which has formed throughout the semester. Students gathered to help a fellow student make yarn bracelets for chlidren in Haiti while enjoying Christmas music and holiday treats. There were not enough seats to hold all the students who came to share in the spirit of giving and being! I am grateful to be a part of this amazing energy and spirit of love and service. It gives me hope for our world to experience students who are willing to give their time in order to serve others and to be open to their own transformation!! Come and check out this awesome opportunity next semester! The doors are open to all!! Peace and happy new year!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saints Who Served: Part 2

Blessed Miguel Pro

Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez.
Miguelito, as his doting family called him, was, from an early age, intensely spiritual and equally intense in hi mischievousness, frequently exasperating his family with his humor and practical jokes. As a child, he had a daring precociouness that sometimes went too far, tossing him into near-death accidents and illnesses. On regaining consciousness after one of these episodes, young Miguel opened his eyes and blurted out to his frantic parents, "I want some cocol" (a colloquial term for his favorite sweet bread). "Cocol" became his nickname, which he would later adopt as a code name during this clandestine ministry.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Opportunity for Charity

Hello! Hope everyone's semesters are ending well!

If you are like me and you still have some Knight Bucks left, but you don't want to waste them, then I'd love to encourage you to donate them to the Cathedral Pantry/Kitchen downtown. It is really easy to donate, and the donations will provide a lot of food and product for the Cathedral pantry to help them provide for the economically underpriveledged during the cold, winter months. The Cathedral Kitchen has at least one free meal every day of the year and our donations will help them to continue doing their amazing work! Even if you only have $5 left it can still make a lasting impact when combined with other donations. If 40 people gave $5 in Knight Bucks, that would be an amazing $200 in food/product!

If you are interested in donating, please just email me, Jeff Stegbauer, your name at by MONDAY, the 12TH of DECEMBER.

Then, I will forward your name onto Shannon Smith, who will then drain your account (**If you do not want your account drained entirely please include the specific ammount you want to donate in your email**) at the end of the semester and use the collected money to go out and purchase goods to bring down to the Cathedral Pantry. So, to ensure that your Knight Bucks don't go to waste, all you have to do is email me your name!

Thanks and God Bless! My prayers are with all of you as you study for your finals and write all those papers!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Did someone say FREE T-SHIRT?
Campus Events Committee is working with Goodwill Industries to collect clothes for our service project.  If you bring 5 articles of clothing to theStudent Government office (RLSC 205) TOMORROW (Friday December 2) from 1 - 3 p.m., CEC will give you a free "I'm a MUK" t-shirt!  They are awesome.  You should get one.

Simplify your life. Donate to help others. Be part of the community.

*via SGMU campus events

Monday, November 28, 2011


It's our final STARR for 2011! Come join us as we head into Indianapolis one final time this Friday at 3:00pm.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Urban Ministry internship available with Rebuilding the Wall

Rebuilding the Wall is currently seeking to fill a non-profit student intern position for our Community Development Ministry. Rebuilding the Wall exists to stabilize families, combat social injustice, and stabilize communities. Rtw has been part of the fabric of our inner-city community for over a decade and continues to be a grass-roots social justice organization.
Here are some details of the internship:
-One year commitment
-Will work closely with Executive Director
-Manage a variety of projects to include: grant reimbursements, office organization, event coordination, volunteer relations.
For more information, inquiries, contact Shelley at Check us out on Facebook!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Saints Who Served: Part I

In standing with our Catholic Identity at Marian University, I decided to share the stories of some of the great heroes of our faith, Saints who excelled in service of others.  The first installment:  St. Damien of Molokai.

When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy (Hansen's disease). By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease.
Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary six years later, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii.
In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government's leper colony on the island of Molokai, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people's physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support.
Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Cope (January 23), to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa.
Damien contracted Hansen's disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien's body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Giving Matters

Friday, October 27, we will head back to many of the sites we have been to often this semester: Miracle Place, Noble, Gleaners and Holy Family Shelter. Get excited! This would be a great opportunity to bring a friend who hasn't been to STARR for a great experience with kids at Miracle Place, with persons with disabilities at Noble (who are full of so much joy!), or to our other sites that provide longer-term support for concerns of family and poverty.

Serving others, loving our neighbor, matters. Let's take a couple of hours from our Friday afternoon to offer our time, hearts, hands and minds for others. And let's bring someone else who may honestly be very busy with good things (like many of us), and ask him or her to attend.

It is in giving of ourselves that we receive. Each of us has experienced that at STARR. Let's give again and get another to give, too.

Image source

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Reflect?: A Reflection

In case anyone was wondering, STARR features a double 'r'.  No, its not there for cutesy reasons, nor are we really bad at spelling.  When STARR was founded, it was originally STAR (Students Taking Active Roles), with the singular 'r'.  However, changes in the program led to the addition of another 'r', becoming STARR (Students Taking Active Reflective Roles).  So why the change?  What role does reflection play in our ultimate mission of Christian service?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Teach a Man to Fish: Respecting the Dignity of the Individual

One of my favorite hobbies is to watch TED talks on Youtube.  Briefly, TED is an academic forum for people, typically experts in their fields, to give short talks to an audience about whatever it is they're working on, and those talks are videotaped and posted to Youtube.  I watched a video by Josette Sheeran, who heads the UN's World Food Program, entitled "Ending Hunger Now."  I found this video to be rather fascinating because Mrs. Sheeran suggested that world hunger could be ended now if we are willing to take the collective steps to make that happen.  One idea she shared that I especially found relevant is the idea that, rather than just giving away food to those victims of hunger, we empower them to be the solution of their own problem, thus feeding them and stimulating their local economy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

We Must Because We Can (and Should!)

Last night I found myself in the kitchen at the seminary, grabbing a late night snack and chatting with some of the other guys. For whatever odd reason, guys end up meeting in the kitchen, munching on junk food and start talking about deep topics such as religion and philosophy. Why a can of Pepsi and a half-eaten bag of Doritos puts us in the introspective mood, I'll never know. Anyways, myself, Tyler Tenbarge, and a few other guys were talking about retreats and conferences we'd given or been to, and Tyler brought up one he gave for FFA called "We Must Because We Can." Being the nerds we are, myself and a few others pointed out that just because can do something doesn't mean we must do it (Think "We can massacre an entire demographic --> Genocide). Thus, one of us added the qualifier "We Should," making Tyler's conference title "We Must Because We Can and We Should." Granted, that idea doesn't roll off the tongue quite so easily, but it does bring up a moral imperative worth discussing...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Problems

As I went to my closet this morning, I couldn't choose which shirt: a green-striped or a blue-striped with a white collar. I know... real life problems, right? Now, while my moment of indecision was just a moment, it was enough time to for me to notice what I was doing. Sorting through my closet, I wondered that if I was wasting time trying to decide on a shirt for the day, what was I not spending time on that was more important than dressing myself?

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Tale of Two Stories

This morning, after a refreshing Norton lecture in Humanities, I ventured up to the Knight and Day Cafe (purveyor of fine coffee and other miscellaneous college essentials) to fill my mug of black caffeinated goodness. Looking out at our fine educational institution, I had a spark of philosophy in which I suddenly ventured to ask "What is everyone here thinking about?" While it would be nice, if not overwhelming, to know what everyone is thinking, I was left to speculate.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spreading Into the City

Last Friday's STARR was the largest one in which I participated. Glory to God! More than 40 students offered a few hours of their time to serve children, people with disabilities, the poor and those displaced by war. As we departed to our four sites, several students volunteered to drive others... something we definitely needed after so many people joined us for STARR.

At the Sophia Club / STARR cookout following our service, one person commented about how he thought it was awesome to know that not only was he serving with ten others at his site, but that MU students, people he knew, were at three other locations doing the same thing - putting the Gospel into action. After such a successful STARR this past week and neat insight from our fellow student, I pray we may all not only continue serving, but also continue to reflect on what we are doing by going to STARR.

A shout-out to all of those who attended this past week! Thank you for choosing to serve, to love and to be with us.

Image Source - "hands"
Image Source - "city"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Serve?

In case you haven't noticed recently, we have a culture that tends to remain apathetic or ignorant towards the plight of others. Yes, we do show some sympathy towards the countless tragedies of the third world, and some of us, if we have some disposable income, may feel compelled to put some money in an envelope and send it off to one of many charities to feed the hungry mouths of these places (and its a good thing to do so), but at the end of the day, things don't really change for us. We go to bed each night well fed and complacent, we wake each morning and spend more on our morning coffee than the people who harvest that coffee get for a daily wage. In many ways, we unconsciously feed the system of poverty with our own indifference and apathy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome to STARR!

Welcome, on the behalf of the Marian University STARR Core Team, to the Marian University STARR (Students Taking Active Reflective Roles) blog. With this blog we hope to harness the medium of the Internet to share the message of STARR with a larger audience, as well as allowing others to share their STARR stories and posting reflections on service, Catholic Social Teaching, and other themes. Please feel free to look around, read about what we do, and hopefully you'll join us in serving our community!

If you have participated in STARR and would like to share your experience on the blog, please email your story to the blog master, Joe Gehret at or to the STARR coordinator Tyler Tenbarge at If you have any questions regarding STARR or its service opportunities, contact Tyler of Jeanne Hidalgo at Thanks for stopping by!