A desire to deepen her own faith led Australian Catholic University (ACU) fourth-year Bachelor of Education (Primary) student, Tiffany Dinh to embrace the role of Student Ministry Assistant at the ACU Strathfield Campus.
“I wanted to grow in my faith, and I believed that this role would help me to bring my relationship with God into my everyday life. If I wanted to teach in a Catholic school, I had to understand my faith and its importance to me.”
Tiffany, an ex-student of Sydney’s Trinity Catholic College, became interested in the role when she observed a previous student as an assistant minister on campus.
“I just loved the atmosphere − the students were engaging; they were practising their faith – I felt like I was back in high school where I really enjoyed retreats and those kinds of opportunities.
“Being part of Campus Ministry I felt I could rejuvenate my faith. I have a growing relationship with God because there are so many things to learn. My experience has been positive and so I want other students to explore and hopefully have a positive experience too.”
Working under the auspices of the ACU Strathfield Campus Ministry team, Tiffany values the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of others. Her role helps contribute to programs that facilitate faith formation and build community with students. These include social gatherings that encourage fellowship and opportunities to increase student understanding of Catholic faith.
“Connect groups are great because they’re weekly. Connect groups are invitations to casual conversations where you can connect with people in the campus community and discover more about faith and life.”
Tiffany believes that prayer and liturgical opportunities are integral to the ACU student experience and she’s keen to continue developing this aspect of the campus culture.
“COVID-19 has brought students closer together. I realised that just being present and available for them softened the anxiety of being alone. I felt I was able to deepen my relationship with God and bring prayer to my everyday life. I was worried about assignments and exams, but I’ve come to accept the situation and now I am at peace with it all.
“If students have any concerns or are in need of a listening and sympathetic ear, they can always reach out to the Campus Ministry team.”
ACU Campus Ministry Manager, Brother Michael Callinan, said he is grateful for the strong field of students who apply for the Student Ministry assistant roles across all of ACU campuses each semester.
“I’m delighted that a secondary school student’s experience of faith development is matched by the university’s opportunities and encouragement of their faith journey. It’s a win-win, the fact that Tiffany has served so positively and professionally within our team on campus and has also developed further in her capacity as witness and mentor for the young people she will soon teach.”
With thanks to ACU.