Various groups offer Lenten prayer opportunities
The Rover set out to discover the spiritual options available to students this Lent. University-sponsored groups and student-run organizations have invested in helping students deepen their faith and enter into the penitential season.
Campus Ministry designated this year’s theme, “Trekking Through the Mess,” with the aim to help students connect, reflect, grieve, and heal. “This year has been a bit of a mess, right?” says Campus Ministry, “But step back and look at the big picture. We only get to the Resurrection through the Cross. That means our crosses, our suffering, the things that ‘aren’t going right’ in our lives are the very things that lead us to resurrection.”
According to Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Pete McCormick, C.S.C., “Lent sends us forth into a future that is unknown, but one where we believe that God is with us in our desire to overcome sin, fear, and doubt and replace such unhelpful things with faith, hope, and love.”
Two opportunities for a “Busy Student Retreat” are scheduled for Saturday, March 19 from 2:30–5:30 p.m. and Friday, April 1 from 6:30–9:30 p.m. in the first-floor lounge of the Coleman-Morse Center. Students can reflect, participate in Lectio Divina, and receive the sacrament of reconciliation in this unique opportunity that accommodates the busy college student life. Find more Lenten opportunities from Campus Ministry including Emmaus Walks and a Ways to Pray series here.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is offering confessions at 11:00 a.m., 4:45 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Fridays at 11:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m, in the Basilica, where they will remain following Lent. A Campus Penance Service, consisting of confessions and music from the Notre Dame Folk Choir, will take place in the basilica on Monday, April 11 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. As in years past, Stations of the Cross prayer services are again being held in the basilica on Fridays at 7:15 p.m.
Another opportunity to reflect on the Stations, co-hosted by the Snite Museum of Art and Campus Ministry, will take place on Friday, April 1 from 4:00–5:00 p.m. in the museum. The guided prayer will journey through George Tooker’s preparatory drawings for a Stations series he painted in 1984 for St. Francis of Assisi Church in Windsor, Vermont. After Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C. offers an introduction, individuals from the campus community will reflect on each Station.
A brand-new opportunity this Lent presents itself in eucharistic adoration hosted by the Congregation of Holy Cross. It takes place in the basilica every Monday in Lent from 7:00–8:00 p.m. with confessions and the Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows, inspired by her role as the order’s patroness.
One of the organizers, Fr. Chris Brennan, C.S.C., explained, “It started as a conversation among some Holy Cross priests as we thought about what we might do to strengthen our own communal prayer life during Lent. We thought it could also be a great opportunity to do something that we could invite students to join us in.”
Fr. Brennan also mentioned how various Holy Cross clergy members have contributed to make the new adoration service possible. He explained that Fr. Joe Pedersen proposed the idea at Corby Hall, rector of the basilica Fr. Brian Ching provided use of the basilica, and Fr. Michael Thomas worked on the promotion.
Expressing his vision for the adoration service, Fr. Brennan said, “In a word the hope would be communion—communion with God, communion with one another as disciples of Christ, and for the religious of Holy Cross, communion as brothers in Christ under the patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows.”
Student-run organizations are also providing Lenten opportunities for their members and any newcomers. Militia of the Immaculata co-President William Gentry told the Rover that his club will again be praying the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday around St. Joseph Lake. The Knights of Columbus resumed their daily rosaries in time for Lent and have formed a Lenten small-group.
Her Loyal Sons, the men’s discernment group directed by the Congregation of Holy Cross, will be hosting a variety of events on Saturdays including, but not limited to, outdoor Stations of the Cross and a service trip to St. Adalbert’s Parish, as well as a trip to the Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John, IN during Holy Week.
The Catholic Graduate Community is hosting dinner along with spiritual reading from Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. in Malloy Hall from 6:15–7:00 p.m. on Fridays timed before Stations in the basilica. More information and the form for the weekly RSVP is available on their website.
Howard Hall has organized their annual Lenten chapel crawl open to all students who would like to attend Mass in every dorm chapel on campus. More information here or on their Instagram @howard.hall1924.
FaithND, an outreach project of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, is sponsoring a special series this Lent on the Stations of the Cross. Since Friday, March 4 they have been sharing a meditation each day on a particular station. These reflections feature various people, locations, and themes of the season as the Notre Dame family collectively prepares for Easter.
In continuation with the normal schedule, Sunday and daily Masses will be celebrated on a regular basis in all residence halls.
Michael J. Bender is a sophomore majoring in history and medieval studies. In his spare time, he can be found watching baseball, playing board games or losing to his friend Buddy in pool. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brandon “Buddy” Williams is a sophomore mechanical engineering major from the great state of Texas. You can catch him playing pool in the Knights of Columbus building or staying up all night to finish his differential equations homework. You can send him suggestions for his viral Gregorian Chant playlist by emailing him at email@example.com.
Photo caption: April 10, 2020; Crucifix near St. Joseph Lake (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)