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College hosts Lenten reflections

Alicia Smith | Friday, February 27, 2009

With the season of Lent now underway, Campus Ministry, the Office of Civic and Social Engagement and the Mission Council at Saint Mary’s College have prepared reflection activities open to all students.

Lenten Bread Bowl Discussions begin today, and will be held each Friday during the Lenten season, except during Spring Break. The discussions will include soup bread bowls for a meal and will allow students, faculty and staff members to discuss topics relating to Lent.

“We will be using stories, prayers and discussion starters that Catholic Relief Services has prepared from their work around the world,” Regina Wilson, assistant director of Campus Ministry said.

“By engaging with the stories of contemporary people from various developing countries throughout the world, we are hoping that we will all deepen our understanding of the relationship between communion with God in Christ and solidarity with all those who struggle around the world,” she said.

The discussions, which begin at 12:15 p.m. and will conclude at 12:45 will be held in the West Wing of the Noble Family Dining Hall at the College.

“The [lunches] are meant to provide a way for students to come together once a week during Lent to share their spiritual journey around a simple meal, prayer, and shared conversation,” Judy Fean, director of Campus Ministry.

Fean said discussions would center “around a topic which relates to justice and the Lenten themes of simplicity and almsgiving.”

Along with the Lenten Bread Bowl Discussions, the College will be hosting a food drive throughout the season of Lent. The drive began Wednesday, and will run through April 8.

“The food drive is a way to connect the simplicity of our Friday lunch to the real needs of the hungry in our own South Bend community and beyond us to parts of the world where people are hungry,” Wilson said.

Carrie Call, director of the Office of Civil and Social Engagement told The Observer, that the college is asking “faculty, staff, and students to consider putting aside a can or box of food every week during Lent.”

Students, faculty and staff are also encouraged to set aside some money if they cannot set aside food.

“The food and money, then, will be collected on Wednesday, April 8 at 4:00 p.m. At that time all who gather will celebrate a short prayer service blessing the food and money before it is sent off,” Fean said.

The food and money will go to Little Flower Parish Food Pantry, CROP and Operation Rice Bowl.

“We hope students will join in the weekly lunches. People are invited to come whenever they can, once, twice, or weekly,” Wilson said.

Fean said that she hope the events will provide an opportunity for members of the Saint Mary’s community to come together.

“We also hope that people will come together to bless the food and money as a sign of our communal fasting, almsgiving, and prayer in solidarity with the people of our community and the world.”