Mrs. Witka sends message to her Cathedral family

Campus ministry director wraps up 20-year career

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Cathedran file photo

Mrs. Charlene Witka greets members of the liturgy committee earlier this school year at the 9/11 Mass.

Mrs. Charlene Witka, Director of Campus Ministry

Editor’s note: Every educator who is retiring at the end of the year was contacted by Megaphone editors to write a message to the school. Mrs. Charlene Witka, director of campus ministry, shares her thoughts.

As most of you know, after 20 years as director of campus ministry I will be retiring. As I reflect on my 20 years, I have so many memories. I am limited to 400 words, so here it goes.

I started at Cathedral school year 2000-2001. My youngest son graduated in 2000. I had been a Cathedral parent of three students for 10 years. I remember my first day driving up the Hill. I was feeling a little anxious about where this journey was leading me. I was the first full time campus minister and I was challenged to minister to the entire student body.

Lord, your words not mine.”

— Mrs. Charlene Witka

I prayed every day as a drove up the Hill: “Lord, your words not mine.” It was just me in my tiny office. I got to know students little by little. I always had candy in my office. Once the word got out I had a lot of visitors, and 20 years later, that still is how I meet so many students. All I asked is that they would tell me their name and what grade they were in. The rest is history.

 Through a lot of prayer and hope God walked with me and continues to. Senior retreats were going great and so were the underclassman retreats. Each year God continued to bless my ministry. Many people along the way supported me: Dr. Greer, the campus ministers who served alongside of me, currently the wonderful team of Sara Bozzelli-Levine and Shannon Fox and my ever-faithful senior retreat college and adult leaders who led 111 retreats.

 Over the years, I watched our all-school liturgies become alive. We currently have over 170 students on the liturgy committee. It is amazing how committed these students are to serving and learning about our beautiful liturgy. I have had the privilege and been blessed to work with such wonderful priests like Fr. Kelly, Fr. Munshower, Fr. Zahn and Fr. Godecker.

 Who knew that I would be able to serve in this capacity of just sharing my love and enthusiasm with so many people, be it students, parents and wonderful educators at this great school. But early on I realized that my ministry was to just be present as people needed, to be that hug, that shoulder to cry on, that applause that someone needed, and to share a smile with everyone.

 Thank you, Cathedral, for welcoming me into your family each and every time I arrived at the top of the Hill.