Focus on Religion: HBS Catholic Student Association

The mission of the Catholic Student Association is to provide a support community for members of the Catholic Faith to practice and explore their beliefs. Our goal is to create a church for members of the HBS community while they are away from home or in transition to a new home. In addition to providing a forum for the Catholic members of the community, the CSA also welcomes members of other faiths to share in conversations about some of life’s most important questions.

One of the primary roles of the CSA is to provide weekly Mass in the HBS Chapel. Held every Sunday at 8:00pm, the Mass gives busy members both a chance to attend Mass later in the day and to share in fellowship with fellow members and others from the community.

In addition to providing weekly Mass, the CSA helps connect its members to Catholics in the wider Harvard community. It is directly affiliated with St. Paul’s Parish, at Bow and Arrow streets across the river, and encourages its members to participate in the many events put on by both the young adult ministry and other organizations.

This year, those events include monthly “Thursday Night Dinners” over at St. Paul’s, where graduate students and young professionals of many stripes gather for a good meal and great company. In addition to that, folks will be heading to Theology on Tap sessions, where thought leaders engage students in conversations over a meal and drinks at Tommy Doyle’s.

Finally, the CSA encourages members and guests to hear various speakers who will be coming to campus. Two upcoming speakers include Dr. Alex Havard, Director of the Harvard Virtuous Leadership Institute, who will be speaking on Virtuous Leadership:  Transforming Life, Culture and Business, and Fr. John O’Malley, SJ, who will speak about the Second Vatican Council.

The CSA has more than 120 registered members, although it very much welcomes non-registered members as well. The club does not charge dues, though of course welcomes donations. We send out a weekly announcements email to members, so if you’re interested in hearing more about what’s going on, please sign up!

Rev. George Salzmann, OSFS, Ph.D is the Harvard Catholic Chaplain to the Graduate and Professional Schools and Young Professionals. He administers the sacraments and provides guidance to the graduate schools’ Catholic communities, HBS’ among them. The CSA’s student leadership includes co-presidents C. Patrick Erker and Alex Garcia, VP of Communications Jamie Lee, VP of Operations Phil Roane, and VP of Finance Julie Schwetz.

If you are interested in learning more about the CSA, in joining its proud ranks, or just in talking to a member of the leadership team, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to hear from you. While of course our members are connected through our shared Catholic beliefs, we welcome all. So whether you’ve never missed a Mass your entire life, or are struggling with your faith, or are curious what the whole Catholic thing is all about, we’d love to connect!