by Peter Mai
The SOUL Campus Apostolate has appointed its new officers. President Martin Powers and Vice President Marisabel Pedroza give their insight on why they wanted to be officers, how SOUL will operate, and the obstacles they face.
At the end of the Winter Quarter, former President Cameron Walton and Director of Campus Ministry Austin Schneider selected the new officers for SOUL, or Spirit of Unity and Love. The new officers are: Martin Powers, President; Marisabel Pedroza, Vice President; Brian Nunez, Head of Events Team; Eva Mangels and Jake Germain, Heads of Outreach Team; and Elijah Richardson, Head of Media Team.
Through SOUL, Mr. Powers wants to help provide an avenue to spirituality to those who either desire or need it in their lives. “While Mass is great and necessary, people sometimes want more. I want to give access to that,” says Mr. Powers.
Ms. Pedroza has been in SOUL for a year as part of the Events Team. She was also a member of ALIGN, a young adult ministry in Escondido, and participated in ministry during high school. “I like being able to help people grow in their faith while also growing in my faith as well. I missed that, so I thought it would be a nice thing to apply for the position and see what happens.”
Mr. Powers and Ms. Pedroza highlighted the positive aspects of SOUL while talking about areas that need improving. “The positive aspects from SOUL come from the people who show up. You can see these people – they really want something and SOUL offers that to them. It’s getting these students who want more from the religious side of JPCatholic and it’s nourishing them,” says Mr. Powers.
Ms. Pedroza talks about SOUL’s status within the student body. “SOUL nights are a very niche group. The people who come to SOUL nights are people who come every week and that’s wonderful.” She states that SOUL would like for more people to come. An obstacle they face is the negative connotation that SOUL has with some of the student body. “You mention SOUL and someone will make a face. It’s troubling because SOUL is here to serve the student body – to help them grow in community and to help them grow in their faith.” That is an obstacle that the officers of SOUL are working on – making SOUL more appealing while still being rooted in formation and spiritual growth.
Mr. Powers and Ms. Pedroza want to hear feedback from SOUL attendees during the Spring Quarter before they implement any changes. “We really want to be able to serve the community and serve the student body as best we can. If there’s any student feedback, we will gladly welcome that.” says Ms. Pedroza.
Mr. Walton provided his insight on SOUL after stepping down as President. “I think that SOUL is set up for success and that the officers who are now in place are going to be able to continue to build and guide SOUL to be what it needs to be for the student body.”
Mr. Schneider said, “I want them to be evangelists within the school. I want them to help other people grow in discipleship and help others make that commitment to Jesus. We can always go deeper and I think SOUL is the catalyst for that – to help students go deeper in their relationship with Jesus and to go deeper in forming community on campus.”
Soul Nights will continue on Wednesday nights. Metanoia will be on May 25th. If you have any inquiries on SOUL, please reach out to Martin Powers or Marisabel Pedroza.