Group Pastoral Counseling
From time to time as individuals with mutual concerns and issues present themselves, group pastoral counseling has been available. Students gather for 8 to 10 consecutive sessions around the theme of the Effect of Transition on the Faith Experience. A group of up to ten students provides the opportunity to share individual life challenges. Examples have been: going to college, changing majors, relationships, leaving a home church, changes in parents’ lives, marriage, divorce, getting a job, having a child, confronting health issues. These transitions are shared and connected to how students relate to God and religion. “After we met all those weeks, I would go back to the room where we met and remember and wish we were together again.” Follow up from these sessions sometimes culminates in informal networks and mutual support long after the formal sessions have ended. The Downtowners also provides referrals for individual counseling and therapy for students in crisis and helps students link with social services to get them over rough patches in their lives.
The Student in the City program educates students to the needs of others by their visiting with Directors and Staff of Holy Rosary/St. John’s Community Kitchen on South Ohio and Friends of the Homeless to learn about their operations and services to clients. The second part of the program involves inviting a panel of residential, street and working poor to the university for lunch and conversation around themes of struggle and resources needed and sometimes available, such as legal help to transition from shelters to independent living. Shared prayer is part of the gathering both before and after conversation.