Jim Graves is a Catholic writer and editor living in Newport Beach, California. He previously served as Managing Editor for the Diocese of Orange Bulletin, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Orange, California. His work has appeared in the National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, Cal Catholic Daily and Catholic World Report.
In 2018, Northeast Catholic College in New Hampshire (www.northeastcatholic.edu) formed a partnership with Fr. Michael Gaitley and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy (www.marianmissionaries.org) to provide spiritual direction to students. Fr. Gaitley opened the academic year with a retreat for students; there are also opportunities for students to do acts of service with the missionaries or make Marian consecrations.
Northeast Catholic is a traditional Catholic college founded in 1974. It offers five majors: Great Books, literature, philosophy, politics and theology.
Tommy Hogan, 21, is a freshman at Northeast Catholic and is student representative of the Marian Missionaries on campus. He is one of 11 children, and is from Newport, New Hampshire. He recently shared about going to the college and being the representative the Missionaries on campus.
Why did you choose to go Northeast Catholic College?
I chose it because it is a college with an authentically Catholic environment, a focus on the liturgy and an emphasis on the growth of the human person.
How has your first year been going?
Very well. As an incoming freshman you jump right into the studies, but they do an excellent job of not overloading you with work. College is obviously an adjustment, but the faculty, staff and upperclassmen are very kind and charitable in helping make the transition into the community here as smooth as possible.
How did you develop your relationship with the Marian Missionaries?
I graduated high school in 2015. After being raised Catholic, I had fallen away from the Faith. After working for two years following my high school graduation, I had a conversion and came back to the Faith. I wanted to grow stronger in my faith and to take it a step further. I knew some people who were involved with the Marian Missionaries, including the director of the men’s house. After getting in touch with him, going for a visit and praying about it, I joined the Missionaries on Sept. 5, 2017. I lived with the Missionaries in South Lee, Massachusetts, for a year.
What do you do for them at the college?
I am leading students through the Hearts Afire parish-based program. We have gone through 33 Days To Morning Glory and Divine Mercy In The Second Greatest Story Ever Told. This semester we will be reading the book 33 Days To Merciful Love.
I have also been able to lead students to Boston to do street ministry with our brothers and sisters in the streets. Also, we have gone to a local nursing home to visit with the residents.
How has the campus ministry program there benefited you?
It has helped me to grow in my faith even more. Learning about Marian Consecration and Divine Mercy is always such a blessing, and there is always more to learn. But the biggest blessing from it has been my fellow students here who are taking part in the programs and going out on ministry. To see young people who are on fire with love for Jesus and Our Lady and who want to grow in their faith is such an inspiration. It makes it so much easier to want to learn more about our faith.
What would you like to do after you graduate?
I would like to be a theology teacher and work with kids in youth ministry. So many kids are being caught up in the ways of the world and their consciences are being formed by the world and society rather than by the truth and the Church. I would like to help stop that trend and help kids grow up with the Faith readily available to them rather than them having to go searching for it. In the end, though, I want to do whatever Our Lady calls me to do.
What else would you like to share about your relationship with the college and the campus ministry program?
Coming to school has been a huge blessing and there is no place I would rather be right now. I’ve been blessed with this opportunity to work with the Marian Missionaries and Father Michael Gaitley, while also getting an authentically Catholic education here at Northeast Catholic College. I thank God for it every day.