20479962_657173237825919_8478502098659295988_nThis is a year of transition for AVL|CCM. Gloria, who had been the campus minister at UNCA since 2009, retired and the Diocese chose and called David Mayeux to be the new minister to AB Tech, Mars Hill University, UNCA and Warren Wilson. Becca Andrews, who graduated Spring 2018, had some questions to learn about AVL|CCM’s new Campus Minister. It’s a long read, so the questions are linked to focus on the ones you’re most interested in.


What is your name?
Where are you from/ where do you consider home?
Where did you go to school? what did you study?
What drew you to Catholicism?
What was your first job/ any job before this one? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
What is your family like? Any cute kid stories?
What drew you to young adult ministry?
Why do you think students should join CCM/ be involved in their faith in college?
Any advice for incoming students? or graduating students?
One goal for this school year? Is there anything you are excited for or nervous about?
Who or what inspires you?
What do you consider to be one of the biggest issues facing the world right now? the U.S.? the Catholic Church? NC? Asheville?
What is the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen recently?
Confirmation saint/ favorite saint?
Do you have any surprising talents?
Favorite thing to do in your downtime?
Favorite book, movie or TV show?
Favorite type of music or favorite artist?
Favorite meal?

“Campus Ministry’s a call not just to survive college, or to get a degree that leads to a job, or to have fun (though we’ll help you accomplish that, too). It’s a call to transcendent greatness.”

What is your name?

My name is David Michael Mayeux.  I actually really love names, and finding their origins. I am named after the Biblical king whose name means “beloved [of God]” in Hebrew and my father’s best friend, “Michael” Hebrew for “who is like God?”; Mayeux links me to my father’s Cajun roots in Louisiana.  In France there is a “Saint-Mayeux” township, and I’d imagine that’s where the Mayeuxs hail from… but who was Saint Mayeux? Google has failed me so far. I spent some time discerning monasticism and at the abbey my name was Brother Ædan, the name picked out by my brother after the Irish monk St. Ædan of Ferns.

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Where are you from/ where do you consider home?

I was born in Elizabeth City, NC, which sort of makes me a Tarheel Native, but my father was in the Coast Guard at the time, and we moved to a few other states before we settled in Asheville. My family has been here since I was nine (and I kept coming back the few times I left), so Asheville’s home.

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Where did you go to school? what did you study?

I went to school at Appalachian State University under a NC Teaching Fellowship. I earned my Bachelor’s of English, Secondary Education and taught High School English for four years after I graduated. What I studied, however, was anything that grabbed my interest from the course catalogue and the library: Biology, Film studies, graphic novels, World Religions, Mandarin, Spanish (I remember hardly anything of these), Political science, Philosophy. I realized I was never going to have the chance again to learn about these things with help from passionate academics, so I grabbed on with both hands.

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What drew you to Catholicism?

(chuckles) this question betrays you know I’m a “convert” or as the Church prefers one who has come into “full communion” as I’d already been Baptized as a Protestant. I came into the Church just after graduating college, actually. It’s really not a pat answer, though it’ll sound like it, but what drew me to the Church was the Holy Spirit; how I was drawn to the Church was through Star Wars (eps. IV, V, VI), stories about King Arthur and the Grail quest, the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett, Role Playing Games, the Christopher Walken cult-film The Prophecy, The Crow staring Brandon Lee, the unshakeable sense that the supernatural and transcendent is real, British Literature, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, in particular , the intellectual rigor of St Thomas Aquinas, the passionate mystical poverty of St Francis of Assisi, a really welcoming priest, the existence of Carthusians, the Eucharist; in roughly that order.

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What was your first job/ any job before this one? What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I wanted to be a paleontologist when I was a kid, in equal parts because I was fascinated by dinosaurs and I liked the sound of the word “paleontologist”. Interest in words won out over interest in fossils. My first job was working at McDonald’s. I’ve worked in a bookstore, at libraries, and as a high school English teacher. My last job before campus ministry was stay-at-home dad to my kids, but I was doing parish ministry with RCIA and Parish Council in that time, too.

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What is your family like? Any cute kid stories? 🙂

(laughs) to talk about my family would be to just brag about my kids who are two of my favorite people. I have two children, Benedict (2) and Genevieve (1). They are both named after saints, the father of Western Monasticism and the patron saint of Paris, respectively. Ben loves “diggers” construction equipment, and Evie loves chasing after her big brother. My wife’s a nurse anesthetist at Mission Hospital. She’s from a large, loud Italian/Irish-New York family, and I’m from a family of Cajun/WASP-introverts. Interestingly, the kids show attributes of both so far.

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What drew you to young adult ministry?

A dare. While I was High School Youth Minister at my parish (St Lawrence), I challenged the kids to seek out other parish groups/ministries to be a part of according to their interests. I myself wasn’t a part of any other groups at the time and realized the hypocrisy of telling the kids to do something I myself hadn’t done. So I started going to the parish’s Young Adult Group, The Vine. There I met the woman who would be my wife, the Young Adult Ministry leader, and she asked me about my ideas to make the group better. And so I started helping her try to do that. Our focus was on forming genuine bonds of community (among Catholic young adults, and of young adults to the greater Church community), promoting mystagogy (a deeper understanding of the faith, especially the sacraments), serving the poor of Asheville, and calling young adults to heroically living their faith (i.e. sainthood). That’s pretty much my program for CCM, too.

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Why do you think students should join CCM/ be involved in their faith in college?

Well, being Catholic and on campus makes you a part of Catholic Campus Ministry, whether you know it or not. Where the People of God are, there is the Church. The question is whether students will answer the Holy Spirit who speaks to their heart in seeking the bonds of faith with other Catholics in liturgical worship, prayer, Works of Mercy, and the desire to put one’s talents and gifts at the service of the common good.

Jesus Christ constantly calls us to go out into the deep, into deeper relationship with his Father, through discipleship to himself, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Intentional Catholic Campus Ministry is made up of those students, faculty, staff, and Diocesan ministers who have answered that call, and in communion with the Holy Trinity and each other seek to come together in community, grow in their faith and its practice, strengthen Virtue, proclaim and live justice, develop our gifts and talents for service to the common good, and desire to be living models of discipleship in the Church, on campus and beyond. In other words, Catholic Campus Ministry is the community of the faithful helping one another answer the Universal Call to Holiness, to become saints, to be in communion with God, and proclaiming that call in word and deed on campus.

It’s amazing. Campus Ministry s a call not just to survive college, or to get a degree that leads to a job, or to have fun (though we’ll help you accomplish that, too). It’s a call to transcendent greatness.

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Any advice for incoming students? or graduating students?

Yes. to the incoming students (and really everybody), make a routine and stick to it. Our lives are governed by rhythms—breathe in:breath out, night:day, rest:work:leisure, fall:winter:spring:summer, etc—we do best to recognize the need for rhythm and order in our lives that a routine can provide. Note the most important things—Mass, prayer, spiritual reading, study, sleep, meals of real food, exercise, family, true friendships, leisure that rests in the true, good, and beautiful—take your planner, or Calendar app, and SET (by actually marking down or creating repeating events) when those will be and give them the time needed to do them well. Commit to that routine until you absolutely have to revise it for some reason (like a new semester). Routine and structure aren’t  prisons, but like the buttresses of a Gothic cathedral, open up space in our life for what is truly Good.

Graduating students, You are salt and light, season the world and cast light scattering the darkness using the skills and knowledge you have gained (see Matthew 5:13-16) “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom 12:2) “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8). “For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who [indeed] is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:3-5)

“Routine and structure aren’t  prisons, but like the buttresses of a Gothic cathedral, open up space in our life for what is truly Good.”

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One goal for this school year? Is there anything you are excited for or nervous about?

To bring the Liturgy of the Hours to campus as a regular and integral part of Campus Ministry. “The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows,” teaches the Church. Campus Ministry cannot be a living, breathing, member of the Body of Christ without the liturgy. Yes, we celebrate the Mass, often as a community together on Sunday, which cannot be eclipsed, but to celebrate liturgy as a part of our ministerial community, right at campus, will add a depth and richness to the presence of the Spirit for Campus Ministry that result in fruits I can’t even imagine. I’m excited about that.

What I’m nervous about is following in the footsteps of Gloria Schweizer! I’ve known her as long as I’ve been doing any ministry, and her passion, compassion, energy, and joyfulness are daunting to live up to! She gave me the wise words that I can only bring myself, my gifts and talents that God gave me, to my ministerial work on campus, but still. Big shoes to fill. (Clown shoes, actually, for those who know her …)

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Who or what inspires you?

After Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, a lot, but here are some spiritual highlights: The Mass, lectio divina, the Liturgy of the Hours (esp. Office of Readings and Lauds), the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), St Paul, Sts Perpetua and Felicity, St Augustine of Hippo, St Benedict, St Aelred of Rivaulx, St Theresa of Avila, Benedictines, Carthusians, Trappists, Carmelites, Bd. John Henry Newman, Pope Paul VI, Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Robert Barron, Dr. Peter Kreeft, Dante, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Stratford Caldecott, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Adrienne von Speyr, the Theotokos of Vladimir, the Isenheim Altarpiece (Crucifixion) of Grunewald, the music of Arvo Part, the Hymns of the Divine Office, the films of David Lynch and Orson Welles, my wife, my kids. And this story from the Desert Fathers:

Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office. I fast a little. I pray. I meditate. I live in peace and as far as I can. I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” Then the old man stood up, stretched his hands towards heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire, and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”
—Sayings of the Desert Fathers (tr. Benedicta Ward)

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What do you consider to be one of the biggest issues facing the world right now? the U.S.? the Catholic Church? NC? Asheville?

World: “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” -Ephesians 6:12

United States: We “trust in princes, in children of Adam powerless to save.”   -Psalm 146:3

Catholic Church: “It has been reported to me about you, [ …] that there are rivalries among you.” -1 Corinthians 1:11

North Carolina: Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land: “When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain, And the sabbath, that we may open the grain-bins? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the destitute for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the worthless grain we will sell!” -Amos 8:4-6

Asheville: Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” -John 18:38 AND ‘“if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, … you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,”’ -James 2:2-3

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Confirmation saint? favorite saint?

My confirmation saint is Joseph of Arimathea, a pick inspired by the Grail legends associated with King Arthur, but meditation on his role in the Gospels as the one who receives the Body of Christ from the Cross has made the choice much more profound.

Asking me to pick a favorite saint is like asking me which stone in Chartres Cathedral is your favorite? I love the Church because I love her saints as they come together like notes in a cosmic symphony. That being said, there’s a reason my first-born son is named Benedict; here was a man who desired holiness, tried to find it in solitude, but discovered that community was the forge in which God most often shapes saints. He tried a community of super strict asceticism, but after they tried to poison him, he realized maybe he needed to tone it down a bit. He applied the Gospel to set practical rules for living, and left a short, but enduring, treatise his Rule for Monks on living in a community wholly ordered to God that guides and inspires communities to this day. It seeks the balance and complementary of prayer and work, liturgy and personal prayer (lectio divina), leadership and humility, recognizes individual talents and teaches the necessity to use them for the common good. The patrimony of spirituality in the Church is rich and diverse, and I love sharing that diversity with others, as I will in CCM, but I suspect that if you watch closely, there will be a recognizable Benedictine character to my actions, much as there was an Ignatian character to Gloria’s.

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Now just some fun questions: What is the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen recently?

Most interesting thing I’ve read recently is The Crucifixion by Flemming Rutledge, a cri de coer to return the Cross of Christ to the heart of preaching and a multi-layered meditation on the meaning of the Crucifixion that is breathtaking.

The most interesting movie I’ve seen lately was Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve. The plot is about aliens and world crises, but really the movie is about language and understanding, how language affects our perception of creation, and how we heal from our woundedness. It was thoughtful and creative, visually stunning and a good story.

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Do you have any surprising talents?

That’s a hard question because they’re not surprising to me … it was surprising that I once had a woman offer to buy some paper snowflakes that I’d cut from scrap paper.

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Favorite thing to do in your downtime?

Read books or watch movies that are “fairy stories” a la Tolkien’s definition, stories that remove me to a place far removed from my own that in doing so reveals Truth about this world.

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Favorite book, movie or TV show?

Book(s): J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, St Aelred of Rievaulx’s Spiritual Friendship,

Movies: Iron Giant, Brick, The Third Man

TV Show: Twin Peaks

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Favorite type of music or favorite artist?

composer Arvo Part, Cambodian Psychedelic Rock, Johnny Cash

Favorite meal?

Chipotle Chicken Burrito from Urban Burrito, or pizza. And coffee and pie.

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