Flocks, once divided, find common purpose

Sean Sauro, Staff Writer

Conflicting religious ideologies have been the cause of conflicts across the ages, but some members of the Pitt-Johnstown Campus Ministries have been able to put their differences beside them.

Campus ministries consist of both Protestant and Catholic followers who work together to spread a Christian message from the same chapel.

In doing so, these students have been able to transcend the usual dogmas. Some students have even attended other church’s services.

Caitlyn Ream, former campus ministry student leader, said she has attended both Catholic and Protestant services.

She said, though there is a difference in the way the two religions are practiced, their missions’ commonality provides a mutual goal and tethers the groups together.

“A benefit lies in the common goal of reaching out and spreading the Gospel,” said Ream.

Similarly, Alysse Gormley, Catholic Campus Ministry student leader said she has attended several Protestant services.

“I’ve attended a couple programs,” said Gormley. “It’s interesting to see how they pray and worship.”

While the attendance of these services has worked to bolster cooperation, Gormley said annual mission trips organized by Catholic and Protestant ministry directors may be the most significant collaboration between the groups.

These trips, which take place over spring break, allow the ministry to reach out to communities in need and spread their Christianity.

Gormley said this year the group traveled to Washington, D.C., where they delivered sandwiches to homeless people, helped demolish a house and spread the Christian message at a Boys and Girls Club.

Catholic Student Leader Lena DeLucia said, although, in previous years the trip consisted of mostly Protestant students, this year is the first that many Catholics attended.

Protestant Pastor Jim Gay said, this year, 21 students participated in the mission trip, making it an unusually large turnout.

“With this year being the biggest group and with more Catholic students, it paints a wonderful picture of testament and unity between the Protestant and Catholic religions,” said Gay. “It has opened the door for mutual friendship and faith.”