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Saint Paul University Catholic Center

A Letter to Parents

Hello parents of prospective or current students!

Each year, St. Paul’s is excited to welcome new students to the UW-Madison campus and into this vibrant community. With you, we share the hope that among all the excitement and social pressures of college life, your child will find a strong community of friends. Much is known about the prestigious academic reputation of this university, yet Madison also boasts a rich and exciting campus environment. It is my pleasure to tell you that hundreds of Catholic students find a wonderful community of faith, education and support here at St. Paul’s University Catholic Center each year.

While some college freshmen stray from the practice of their faith, many do not. The challenges that students encounter here can actually inspire them to engage their faith in deeper and more effective ways. St. Paul’s brings Mass to over 1,000 students every Sunday, and is the largest student organization on campus. Our programs include retreats, many Bible studies located throughout campus, a Thursday large-group speaker series, service trips during both winter and spring break, Badger football tailgates, cook-outs, spiritual direction, two daily Masses, Eucharistic adoration, and many programs designed to allow students to easily engage in their Catholic faith. St. Paul’s has a long history of serving the UW-Madison campus and we are excited the new opportunities each academic year brings!

We have a great staff of three priests, six professional staff members and twelve recent college graduates working full time as missionaries in campus ministry to lead, form, and assist our large student base in various ways. If your child would ever need a little help, or a friend to talk to, please do not hesitate to let me know. Often problems can seem overwhelming if there is no one with whom to talk.

Since St. Paul’s is a primarily student parish, our weekly collection provides only 7% of our annual budget of over $950,000. Parent contribution to our ministry has therefore been essential to our ability to offer the quality programming your son or daughter needs, and to reach out to the 10,000 other Catholic students on campus. Each year it costs at least $400 to meet the annual spiritual needs of a student attending St. Paul’s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would become a regular donor to our mission during your child’s tenure here.

You are welcome to contact me with any questions or for more information about giving. You can also visit our Make a Gift page for more details.

It can be difficult to watch your children step out on their own path. Please know that we are here to make that path as faith-filled and enjoyable as possible. There are many worthwhile causes to support, but the investment you make in our mission to form hundreds of students every into faithful Catholics and people of integrity is about as good of an investment in our future as you can make. We look forward to serving your student during these years at UW-Madison and thank you for your support and prayers!


In Christ,

Rev. Eric Nielsen