Catholic Community and Sacramental Life

Worship, the celebration of the sacraments, and community-oriented catechesis gather individuals together to praise God, to enhance community, and to encourage spiritual growth in each other's lives.


Campus Ministry is committed to providing programming to support interfaith exploration and the creation of bonds of friendship and understanding across the diverse faith and philosophical traditions represented among Seattle University's student body.

Our commitment to interfaith work arises from our Catholic foundation. According the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "It is our hope and our goal to foster bonds of friendship, mutual understanding, and constructive collaboration among the world’s religions in the genuine service of [human]kind."1

In addition to our interfaith programs, Campus Ministry offers a variety of opportunities for students to engage more fully in their own particular faith traditions. 

Sacraments and Faith Formation

Sacraments are moments in the life of the Church which draw us deeper into relationship with God and with the faith community. Campus Ministers accompany students on their journey of exploring faith and preparing for the Catholic Sacraments through formal programs, ongoing liturgical offerings, and caring conversation. 

Are you exploring the possibility of becoming a Catholic? Curious about the Catholic Church? Interested in joining a community of faith exploration and learning? Consider joining us for the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA)!

OCIA is a year-long process of exploration, prayer, reflection, study, and conversation that leads to full Christian initiation in the Roman Catholic community through Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil at the Chapel.

While OCIA is designed for those who have never been baptized, those who have been baptized in a Christian tradition other than Catholicism can also participate and would be received into the Catholic Church through a profession of faith, Eucharist, and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil.

Our OCIA program is open to Seattle University students, and begins in the Fall Quarter, with weekly meetings typically held on Thursday afternoons (during the lunch hour)

through Easter. At times throughout the year the cohort will gather for a half-day retreat and then attend Sunday 5 p.m. liturgies together at the Chapel. Each participant also meets regularly with a spiritual companion, and a peer sponsor through the OCIA process, who serve as conversation partners in their faith journey. 

Were you baptized Catholic but have not been Confirmed? Are you seeking to complete your full initiation into the Catholic Church? Are you seeking a deeper relationship with God and with community? Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation, drawing us more deeply into life with God and strengthening the gifts of the Spirit poured out into our lives at baptism. This program includes meetings of regular study, prayer, reflection, and conversation, in preparation for a Spring Quarter celebration with a Bishop at the Sunday 5 p.m. mass.

Our Confirmation program is open to Seattle University students. Confirmation Classes begin each Fall quarter and conclude after the Confirmation Mass in the Spring. In addition, each participant meets regularly with a spiritual companion, and a peer sponsor through the preparation process.

Students who have been baptized Catholic but have not received the Eucharist are also welcome to participate in our Confirmation preparation process. These students sometimes join with the OCIA cohort for their faith formation sessions.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as "Confession" or “Penance”) is a sacrament of healing. This sacrament offers an opportunity to encounter God’s grace and healing mercy in our lives.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available on Sundays during the academic year at 4:15 p.m., or after any Mass in the Chapel of St. Ignatius, provided that the presider is available after the liturgy. Approach the presider or any Campus Ministry staff at the Chapel and ask if a priest is available to celebrate the sacrament with you.

We also offer a Reconciliation Prayer Service each Lent, where we pray communally for forgiveness and the individual Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered at the conclusion of the service.

In addition to regular offerings of the Sacrament on campus, there are many local churches that offer Reconciliation weekly. Please consult Reconciliation at Local Churches for a list of when the Sacrament is offered at local churches.

We have a vibrant liturgical life on campus, with our Sunday celebration of the Eucharist at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. offering an opportunity for us to gather as a community in deep relationship with God. We also celebrate Mass on weekdays at 12:30 p.m. at the Chapel during the Academic Year. For more information about our liturgical life or ways to share your gifts with our community, see our Campus Liturgies page.

Our Ignatian, Catholic heritage tells us that God is always desiring to communicate God’s love to us and invite us into loving relationship.

Campus Ministry offers spiritual accompaniment for undergraduate, graduate, and law students who wish to deepen their relationship to their faith and become more attuned to the movements of their spiritual life over an extended period of time through conversation with a spiritual companion. 

Campus Ministers also journey with students in their questions around how best to use their gifts and talents for their flourishing and for the common good. Considering your career path? Wondering if you are called to religious life? Considering how to live your

values in the world? Curious about post-graduate service? Campus Ministers are available for pastoral care and conversation.

Read on to find out about our sacramental and faith formation offerings.



Black Catholic History

On July 24, 1990, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States designated November as Black Catholic History Month to celebrate the long history and proud heritage of Black Catholics. Two commemorative dates fall within this month, Saint Augustine’s Birthday (November 13) and Saint Martin de Porres’ Feast Day (November 3). During the month of November, which marks a time when we pray for all saints and souls in loving remembrance, we take time to recall in a special way the saints and souls of Africa and the African Diaspora

Watch this short documentary called "Black Faith Matters" that sheds light on the Black Catholic experience. Through the eyes of Dr. Ansel Augustine, the Psalm 119 Step Team (young adults that have performed with Dr. Augustine), Ms. Pearl Dupart, and Deacon Allen Stevens; we see how this experience of Black Catholicism is a "gift to the church" as Sr. Thea Bowman said to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. You can also find  more information on the documentary website. 

Did you know that receive their newsletter is the oldest standing Catholic Church in Seattle? The parish was founded by the Jesuits alongside a school (that would eventually become Seattle University) in 1891, and was originally a chapel in the Garrand Building on campus. The church was built in its current location in 1904, and was declared a Historical Landmark by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board in 1974. Immaculate Conception was a Jesuit parish until 1929, when the administration of the parish was transferred to the Archdiocese of Seattle. Today our partnership continues as Immaculate Conception Church is the host of our university's annual Mass of the Holy Spirit each Fall.

Since 2020, Seattle U Campus Ministry has been partnering with leaders at Immaculate Conception and the Black Catholic Advisory Circle to celebrate Black Catholic History Month. To connect with the Black Catholic Advisory Circle, and receive their newsletter, please email: 

Some people forget that Christianity did not originate in Europe and even express surprise when they learn that Black Catholic History began in the Acts of the Apostles (8: 26-40) with the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch by Philip the Deacon. This text is important for several reasons. First, it chronicles the conversion of the first Black African in recorded Christian history. Second, the text suggests that the man was a wealthy, literate, and powerful emissary of the Nubian Queen and also a faithful, practicing Jew prior to his baptism. Clearly, he was not an ignorant heathen. Third, the Ethiopian Eunuch’s conversion predates the conversions of Saints Paul and Cornelius. Most significantly, many cite this conversion as the very moment when the church changed from a Hebrew and Hellenist community to the truly Universal and Catholic Church.

Black Catholics trace their faith history back to Christian antiquity long before other nations heard the “Good News.” Christian Africa was indeed a “leading light” in early Christendom. Black Catholics point to three popes who were born in Africa: Saints Victor I, Melchiades, and Gelasius I. All three shepherded the early church through tough and tumultuous times in history. Black Catholics claim many Black Saints like Saints Cyprian, Zeno, Anthony of Egypt, Moses the Black, Pachomius, Maurice, Athanasius, Pisentius, Mary of Egypt, Cyril of Alexandria, Monica of Hippo, Augustine of Hippo, Perpetua, Felicitas, and Thecla. Some of these mystics, monastics, ands, martyrs literally made the church what it is today.

Not many people know that King Nzinga-a-Nkuwu Mbemba (Afonso the Good) of the Kongo and his subjects made their profession of faith thanks to the work of Portuguese missionaries in the 1490s or that Pope Leo X consecrated the king’s son, Henrique, Titular Bishop of Utica in 1518. Bishop Henrique was the first native bishop of West Africa. However, he died in 1531. The Congolese Church and the hopes for an indigenous clergy died with him. Finally, the genocidal slave trade killed true evangelization in sub-Saharan Africa for several centuries

We cannot examine the history of Black American Catholics without acknowledging the horrific crimes and sins of chattel slavery, and the Catholic Church's complicity in the sin of slavery. American Catholics, including clergy and religious orders including the Jesuits, owned slaves and participated in the slave trade. Read more about the history of Black American Catholics from the National Black Catholic Congress and read about the Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project from the Jesuits further on this page. 

In the midst of a system of slavery, the French and Spanish missionaries ministered to their free and enslaved African population within their respective colonies. This ministry laid the foundation for Black Catholic communities within the United States, i.e. Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Saint Augustine, Florida. It is important to note that many African-American Catholics cherish a certain Peruvian Dominican, Saint Martin de Porres, the only Black Saint from the Western Hemisphere to date.

Tragically, the American Catholic Church did not seriously commit its time and resources to minister to the African-American population during the ante-bellurn or post-bellum periods. Catholic churches and many religious orders remained segregated and closed to African Americans. In spite of insuperable obstacles and opposition, African-American Catholics created a remarkable movement of faith and evangelization. Many courageous people played pivotal roles within church history like Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, Mathilda Beasley, Daniel Rudd, and the Reverend Augustus Tolton. They witnessed their faith, ministered to their people, and left lasting legacies in the face of prejudice, ignorance, and indifference. One cannot read their stories without feeling tremendous joy, sorrow, and inspiration. They are truly heroic accounts!

There are currently six African American Catholics who are on the road to officially being recognized as saints in the Catholic Church. Their stories offer us glimpses of holiness, courage, resilience, creativity, and joy in the face of grave injustice. Read more about these holy men and women, as well as other renouned Black Catholics on the National Black Catholic Congress Website.

Reckoning with our past: The Society of Jesus relied on the labor of enslaved people globally, almost from their founding. In colonial North America, and, over time, in the United States, their involuntary labor helped establish, expand, and sustain Jesuit missionary efforts and educational institutions until the abolition of slavery in 1865. 

The Slavery, History, Memory, and Reconciliation project is an initiative of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, which is committed to a transformative process of truth-telling, reconciliation, and healing that, in conversation with the descendants of people held in bondage, acknowledges historical harms, seeks to repair relationships, and works within our communities to address the legacies of slavery that persist in the form of racial inequities today.

This work is motivated by a desire to uncover the truth of people’s stories, to honor their memories and heal relationships. They hope that together, descendant communities, Jesuits, and Jesuit institutions can act in partnership to address the prejudice and structural racism that endure from slavery throughout the United States.

Find out more about the SHMR here: 

Want to learn more?

Interested in learning more about faith formation? Contact Fr. Vincent Duong, Campus Minister for Faith Formation


Campus Minister for Faith Formation

Fr. Vincent