Detroit Stories Episode 67: 'Surviving College as a Catholic' (PODCAST)

In a space dominated by 'nones' and secular ideology, Catholic college students talk about how faith can thrive on campus

(0:03) Fr. Ben Hasse, pastor of St. Albert Student Parish at Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula, describes the parish’s tradition of building an ice chapel during the university’s annual Winter Carnival in February and how it helps evangelize on the college campus.

(4:18) The narrator points to statistics painting a grim picture for faith on college campuses across the nation. Fr. Hasse shares his philosophy for bringing students into the parish.

(6:52) Lena Sosen, a fifth-year senior at Grand Valley State University studying physical therapy, and Mason Kalanowski, a GVSU master’s candidate studying biomedical sciences, talk about their upbringing. Both described a sense of religious apathy that pervaded their lives before heading off to college.

(10:54) Both Lena and Mason describe how they became connected with the Catholic campus ministry at GVSU, and how they encountered faith-filled friendship at a critical juncture in their lives.

(13:36) Anna Stankewitz, director of campus ministry at St. John Church and Student Center at Michigan State University, talks about the difficulties college students experience in living their faith authentically in the face of diverging values.

(17:43) Lena, Anna and Mason describe how they became involved in campus ministry, what drew them, and why they decided to stay amidst other options on campus. Fr. Hass describes the social aspect of campus ministry at Michigan Tech.

(22:17) Mason talks about his decision to ultimately become Catholic. His newfound faith — he’ll be baptized this Easter — has had an impact on his family back home, too.

(24:27) Anna, Lena and Mason give advice to current or prospective college students about living their faith authentically on campus.

Reporting by Gabriella Patti; script by Casey McCorry; narration and production by Ron Pangborn

Thinking about the probability of dying is something that none of us wants to face. No matter what we do, all of us will pass away one day. Preparing now is a great way to help our loved ones during their grieving process and ensure our final wishes are followed. Our caring friends at the Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services can help you. Visit or call (734) 285-2155.

Listen to ‘Detroit Stories’ on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. Podcasts also will be posted biweekly on


AOD-IAM: July Article Bottom