Every May, one brave soul volunteers to endure Fr. Brad’s corny jokes, Fr. Mike’s projects, and Evan’s awful cooking at the Falcone Arena House as our Summer Intern. This year, Audrey Ellis ’19 decided to take one for the team, and has been hard at work in Durham as we prepare for the new academic year! So, we sat down with Audrey to ask for her thoughts on the Duke Catholic Center during her time here at Duke.
I wasn’t very involved in my high school youth group but I’d been encouraged by my counselors at camp to have a personal relationship with Christ and I thought that getting more involved would help that relationship. I also thought getting involved in campus ministry would be good practice for when I grow up and have to go to a real church.
What was your first experience in the Duke Catholic Center?
My very first experience was when I went on a tour of Duke in October of 2014, and I chose my tour guide because she said she was involved in the Catholic Center, and on the tour we happened to run into Fr. Mike because there was a football game that day and he was hanging out around campus. My first experience as a student was during an O-Week mandatory lecture on consent, when I heard the people sitting next to me talking about the Catholic Center and how awesome the kitchen was. But, I guess my first official experience in the Duke Catholic Center was Mass on the Sunday after O-Week, and the welcome picnic afterwards.
I think it’s really important for incoming Catholic first-years to know that there is no deadline to getting involved or developing a personal relationship with Christ. Even if you don’t dive right in at the beginning of freshman year or even if haven’t gone to church in a while, you can always pick back up and the community here will always welcome you. Also, you should definitely come to Tuesday Night Dinners, because you’re not gonna want to eat Marketplace dinner 7 nights a week, and why not eat for free?
What has been the most impactful part of your faith journey at Duke?
Definitely small groups. It’s nice to have a community that encourages you in your faith, and a way to engage where everyone’s on an even playing field, where no one is trying to prove how “smart” they are at the faith.
Favorite praise and worship song?
Either “Anchor” by Hillsong or “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad.