Pictured: Father Jim Wheeler OFM--Augustana Catholic Chaplain from 1988-1995

Augustana College was founded in 1860 within the Lutheran tradition and in 1966 still had a Lutheran enrollment at 60% of the student body.

But by 1982, only 30% of Augustana students belonged to the Lutheran congregation with an equal percentage of students belonging to the Catholic Church.

So in 1983, the college made a decision to hire a full-time Roman Catholic priest to be chaplain to the Catholic students on campus.

For 35 years then, the administration of Augustana has sought to provide for the spiritual needs of Catholic students directly on campus in partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, IL.

While the structure of Catholic Ministry has taken on different forms, the commitment of the college and the diocese in this partnership has endured for the good of students.

Today, Augie Catholic Ministry operates independently and collaboratively on the college campus with a Catholic priest named Father Jeremy Freehill.

He joined the campus community in 2016.

"The way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church."

Pope Pius X