Dear friends of STM College,

My name is Ashton Pius Shashank. I’m a third-year engineering student, and quite an introvert.

My first time travelling alone to a foreign country was in 2018 when I came to Canada from Malaysia to study at the University of Saskatchewan.

When I first arrived, I spent most of my time in school or in my apartment and rarely made any effort to meet people. This can be isolating for an international student, but Campus Ministry at STM helped me open up.

I’m writing to you to ask you to support the people in Campus Ministry who changed everything for me.

I grew up in a Catholic family who went to church every weekend, so I was quite happy in my first week exploring the city to find the STM Chapel on campus. Through my visits to STM Chapel, and a warm welcome from the STM Campus Ministry team members, I was able to meet other international students who were facing similar challenges.

My new friends and I would spend holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas together, which really helped me with living away from home and my family. I felt a sense of belonging at STM!

By supporting Campus Ministry, you too are changing the lives of STM students.

Being invited to attend events such as coffee and snacks after Mass gave me the opportunity to build relationships that I still have today.

Additionally, the people in Campus Ministry also gave me the opportunity to volunteer and be a part of the service, which I really enjoyed, and was not able to do at the church back home. I have really thrived because of the support that I received from the caring team in Campus Ministry at STM.

Your donation can help ensure STM continues to be a welcoming environment of learning and growth.

From the moment I arrived in Canada I realized that I needed to overcome my challenge with talking to people and building connections.
I will forever be grateful to be given the opportunity to become the sacristan for the STM chapel. This job is guiding me to overcome my fear by allowing me to talk to the volunteers and help them in the tasks they are assigned.

Being able to connect with others is an important part of my well-being and will help me be successful in my studies. I have been a student sacristan for two and a half academic years and when I first started right after the pandemic, there was barely anyone coming for Mass.

It makes me happy now to see my community and circle of friends at STM grow.

There are many people and many more students coming to STM, thanks to the support of Campus Ministry. Many student volunteers I have spoken to have told me that coming to STM is a way for them to de-stress and that it aids with their mental health.

I hope you will make a gift today to help ensure others like me can continue their journey in faith and in life as a student.

The people in Campus Ministry and the worshipping community have not only allowed me to continue the journey in my faith, but also given me opportunities to learn more about others who share my faith.

Just like me, many international students can find arriving in a foreign country very intimidating. Finding people who have similar experiences will make you realize that you are not alone.

Campus Ministry brings people together.

Your generous financial support would be greatly appreciated by the students from all over the world who have found community through Campus Ministry at STM College.

With gratitude,
Ashton Shashank