BREATHE builds Christian community

By Kara Epstein
Feel out of breath lately? “BREATHE” is the University of the Incarnate Word’s new Catholic ministry whose main focus is to build a better Christian community for UIW students.
BREATHE is about strengthening one’s relationship with Christ through praise, worship and prayer. Students on board University Mission and Ministry invite newcomers to attend BREATHE every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Our Lady’s Chapel.
As far as music, snacks and fellowship goes, BREATHE has it all.
“It’s a great opportunity to come in and not be judged,” senior Monica Hernandez said. “Everybody fits in here.”
BREATHE isn’t just once a week. Students are also welcome to attend separate men’s and women’s groups as well. The men’s group meets every Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and the women’s group meets every Saturday 2-4 p.m. on the first floor of the Administration Building.
“We form bonds without having to worry what the opposite sex might think,” Hernandez said. “Then we all come together on Wednesday night. It’s really great.”
The groups focus on activities based around Scripture and prayer.
“Meeting in separate groups and then coming together later gives us a chance to strengthen as individuals as well as a community,” Hernandez said.
Attendance in the separate groups on Friday or Saturday are not mandatory to attend BREATHE.
“Anyone and everyone are welcome,” Beth Villarreal, director of University Mission and Ministry, said.
The Catholic-based community hopes to encourage fellowship outside of BREATHE as well.
“If you ever need a study buddy, or if you just want to hang out, stop by the University Mission & Ministry office right next door to Our Lady’s Chapel. We love meeting new people,” Hernandez said.
“I’m excited to start coming to BREATHE. I belonged to something similar in high school and I’m really looking forward to doing it here at UIW,” Adrian Leal, a sophomore communication arts major, said.
As far as hope for the future, BREATHE members are “Really hoping to merge with the UIW community,” Hernandez said. “Who knows what could grow out of this.”

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