Procession to Take Place December 8th, Following 4pm Mass in Alumni Hall
In celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, next Saturday, December 8th, students and other members of the Notre Dame community will participate in a Marian procession. That’s right – as the temperature continues to drop, the snow piles up, and exam week approaches, students have decided to spend a Saturday afternoon celebrating a liturgical feast.
The idea of a procession came from sophomore Felipe Segura, a resident of St. Edward’s Hall, who felt called to do something for the spiritual character of the university—and for the Church more generally—after the reveal of the deep crisis of sexual abuse within the Church. I happened to run into Felipe one evening at the Grotto earlier in the semester. We prayed the Rosary together, and the next day, he texted me saying he had an idea he wanted to share with me. We got together for lunch, and decided that a Marian procession was a perfect response to a crisis that, among other things, highlighted a deep lack of piety and fellowship in the Church. In addition, though Notre Dame is certainly in a better spot than many peer Catholic institutions when it comes to devotional life on campus, a procession would help to boost this aspect of our community.
The procession will take place on December 8th, after a 4pm Mass in the chapel of Alumni Hall, which will be celebrated by Fr. Terry Ehrman. Following the Mass, participants will pray the rosary as they walk together from Alumni to the Grotto. Everyone in attendance will have candles, some students will carry a statue of Our Lady, and Marian hymns will be sung in between decades. After the procession, there will be a reception—hot chocolate and coffee included—in the Oak Room, located on the second floor of South Dining Hall.
In the process of organizing for this procession, Felipe and I ran into some roadblocks as we determined the location, time, celebrant, and liturgical details, but something that does not deter us is the weather. Yes, it is going to be cold, dry, and probably windy, but what better way to offer a gift up to Our Mother than through the small sacrifice of bearing the cold? In fact, the challenge of marching through campus in the middle of winter might even be the kind of thing that helps to motivate a bunch of college students to spend their Saturday afternoon praising Our Mother.
Long term, the goal is for this procession to become a new annual tradition on campus. The idea is to focus the procession around a new theme every year. This year’s theme, in light of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, is “Renewal.” Students, faculty, staff, and other members of the community are all encouraged to attend this year’s procession!
Nicolas Abouchedid is a sophomore studying in the Program of Liberal Studies. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela he currently resides in Dillon Hall. Nick strongly believes that no movie worth watching should be started after 7:30pm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org