Holy Ground by Shirley Atencio, Campus Minister


A favorite quote of mine aptly expresses the reason we continue doing ASB:  “Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, and another religion is to take off our shoes, for the ground we are approaching is holy.”  It has so often been the case that travelers on ASB return feeling they have experienced an interior shift of some kind—something holy, if you will.   It comes after encountering the mystery and wonder of nature and our shared humanity, seen with new eyes.

I am excited to travel with this group of willing individuals who are already shaping themselves into a cohesive ASB 2016 family.   Bahia de Kino is a place that holds many pleasant memories for me, having accompanied three previous groups there. It feels like a gift to experience it anew.  As advisor, I am anxious to see the dynamics of this group as they build community throughout a week in close proximity with one another.  I always believe that each person on ASB was meant to be here and will take something valuable from the experience.    My hope is that we will be stretched and challenged to know the “discomfort of no easy answers” (see prayer below) to the questions that will inevitably surface.  I also hope we will find rejuvenation, joy, and inspiration away from work and classes.

As we prepare to set forth, I would like to thank all who had a part in making another ASB possible.  Special thanks to Newman Grizz Catholic for their hard work in being an active, AS&F recognized student organization on campus and for enabling ASB to benefit yearly from their efforts!

May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.


A (condensed) four-fold Benedictine blessing – Sr. Ruth Marlene Fox, OSB – 1985