Whether you are Christian or non-Christian, there is family of faith for you at Ross should that be a priority for you. One thing that blows my mind about Ross is that every denomination and world religion is represented on campus. Amazingly, there is respectful co-existence of all these groups. I highly recommend that you find your faith family on campus. This time in your life is too critical to not have a support system. Medical school is very taxing on students as well as on marriages and families. Get involved, get rooted, it will make a difference.
This is my shameless plug for my faith family here in Dominica. We call ourselves Ross Catholic Student Association or RCSA. My first week in Dominica was a real whirlwind. Like most of you, when I arrived to Dominica, I knew very few people and I had no idea how I was going to assimilate into this new world that was so different from what I knew to be home. The first time I attended a Catholic service on campus I thought to myself, “now I’m home”.
RCSA is an extension of the parish of St. John & St. Lewis in Portsmouth, Dominica (767-445-5218). Our patron saints are St. Luke the physician and St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students. Our pastor is Fr. Herman Sharplis of St. John’s. He is a great shepherd. Our activities include:
- Mass on campus with Fr. Sharplis two Sundays out of the month at 2pm on the 2nd floor of the CAC, East Room. The other two Sundays we have Communion Services run by a diocesan commissioned lay minister.
- Daily spiritual activities M-F including the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Seasonal devotions, Liturgy of the Word, and “Life on the Rock”. Through these sessions we seek to build a firm faith foundation and are encouraged to integrate spirituality into our practice of medicine.
- Fourth Semester Mass-a special event where we honor the students who are about to finish their basic science curriculum in Dominica and move on to the US for rotations.
- Public Health Fairs-twice a semester we go out into the local community to help screen for hypertension, diabetes, poor vision and nutritional problems.
- We host fundraisers during the semester to help raise money for our local parish, St. John’s in Portsmouth.
- Social Activities-potlucks, movie nights, island trips, nights of fellowship etc.
- Opportunities for spiritual formation/growth-Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confession, Healing Services, RCIA, focused education nights (Theology of the Body).
- Nights of Praise and Worship in conjunction with Ross Christian Fellowship.
We have a governing board that is entirely student run. We are always looking for willing souls who want to volunteer to be instrumentalists, choir members, lectors and Eucharistic Ministers. Check out our Facebook page to view photos, videos, and links for Catholic medical resources. (If you have trouble with the above link search for us on Facebook under Ross University Catholic Student Association.) Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to our email list or if you have any questions.
You also have the option of attending Mass at the local parish, St. John’s in Portsmouth, every Sunday at 8 am. Daily Mass is at 6 am M-F. You can either walk to St. John (about 25 minute walk) or take a short taxi ride (cost 8-10 EC). St. Johns has a prayer meeting every Wednesday night that starts around 7:00 pm and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays beginning after the 6 am Mass and ending with Benediction at 5 pm. Confession is available at the parish by appointment as well as on campus occasionally. We have had students go through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) as well as have their marriages blest through St. John’s.
RCSA is a regular contributor to St. John’s. St. John’s church was devastated by an earthquake in 2004. The congregation does have a temporary church they are meeting in. They are currently building a new Church. We are happy to be part of that process and invite you to join us.
We Catholics in Dominica are considered to be in the Diocese of Roseau. The current bishop is Bishop Gabriel Malzaire. Enjoy this slideshow of some of the Catholic churches on the island:
View the Prayer of the Catholic Physician written by John Paul II.