Bishop Frank Dewane opened the academic year at Ave Maria University Monday evening, challenging students to grow spiritually as well as intellectually. The bishop was the principal celebrant at the Mass, then talked with many students over dinner in the school cafeteria.
In his homily, Bishop Dewane said the university's oratory, which was filled for the Mass, "needs to be for each one of you present the center of your life this year."
"You will learn a lot -- you have a talented faculty," the bishop said, "but you will learn the most if you spend a fair amount of time here, in this church also. You will learn who you are as a child of God and what it is that God asks you to do with your life."
"Prepare yourselves, therefore, to let Christ come to you so that you may bring Christ to others."
Bishop Dewane greeted faculty and students as they left the oratory, wishing each a "blessed year." Then he went across the university mall to the student union, where he continued to talk with students over dinner.
"I do enjoy my visits here," Bishop Dewane said. "It is always a pleasure to be here."