Fr. Matt Lowry celebrates a Spanish Mass for Northern Arizona University students in the small chapel at Holy Trinity Newman Center in this Sept. 1, 2018 file photo. (Courtesy of Holy Trinity Newman Center)

Going off to college can be one of the most exciting, yet faith-challenging, experiences a person can have. The modern college campus is a true battleground for the hearts, minds and souls of young people.

Fr. Matt Lowry is the director of Holy Trinity Newman Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Our greatest gift is life in Christ, but unfortunately almost 80 percent of people who walk away from the Lord, do so by the age of 23. College students are forfeiting the riches of their faith for the impermanent and unfulfilling promises of the culture. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

With the mission of “forming intentional disciples,” our Newman Center doesn’t simply welcome students, but teaches them to go out and invite others to come to know Jesus — the one who came, “So that they may have life and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10).

The “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” Campaign confirms what I have seen as most important on our college campuses and throughout our Church. We can no longer open the door and wait for people to come. The love of Christ compels us to go out and invite others to, “Come and see” (Jn 1:39), so they can know the One for whom they thirst.