The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Howard Hall celebrates Lent with Chapel Crawl

Sara Felsenstein | Monday, February 27, 2012

For many students, Sunday night Mass in their dorms has become tradition.

But the Howard Hall Chapel Crawl encourages students from across campus to come together in celebration of the Lenten season. 

Junior Sarah Scrafford, liturgical commissioner for Howard Hall, led the planning efforts for this year’s Chapel Crawl. 

“It’s really fun getting to meet all the different rectors and people all around campus,” she said.

The 2012 Howard Hall Chapel Crawl includes 30 Masses and prayer services that will take place in chapels all over campus. The event kicked off Feb. 20 and will last until April 12. 

Howard held the Chapel Crawl for the first time last year, but Scrafford said this year’s Crawl is more directly connected with the Lenten season. 

“Last year we did it pretty much continuously Monday through Sunday, 40 days straight, [but] it didn’t coincide exactly with Lent,” Scrafford said. “We really wanted to do it as more of a Lenten devotion.”

Scrafford said the event was created and spearheaded last year by former Howard Hall president, senior Mary Ellen Keneally.

“She thought of it just a couple weeks before we decided to do it, so it was a little bit harder to coordinate the schedule,” Scrafford said. “[But] the first day [last year] we had the opening Mass in Howard, and there were so many people it was almost uncomfortable in the chapel.”

She said attendance at the Masses this year has been strong.

“I think so far there are about three or four girls last year that have made all of the Masses,” Scrafford said. “There are [usually] about 15 to 20 people that come and it’s probably a different group every night.”

Scrafford said Howard decided not to hold Chapel Crawl Masses Saturdays or Sundays this year because it was difficult for the community of Howard to have some students attend dorm Mass each Sunday and some follow The Crawl. 

Senior Melissa Cheng attended last night’s candlelight prayer service in the Lewis Lucenarium. She said she enjoyed attending a service with students from different dorms.

“I think [The Crawl] is a great idea,” Cheng said. “I think that a lot of people have wanted to go to different chapels but haven’t had the opportunity to … So I think this is a good time.”

Junior Jon Schommer participated in Howard’s Chapel Crawl last year and said he plans to attend more Masses this year.

“Last year [I] made it to a good number of Masses,” Schommer said. “I actually went to Lyons Mass for the first time because of the Crawl. I really liked the Lyons chapel, so since then I’ve been going to Mass there regularly on Wednesdays.”

Schommer said he is especially looking forward to the Social Justice Stations of the Cross that will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday in Geddes Hall. 

“As with any Mass, getting to be in communion with Christ is really awesome, but doing it in a community of great people makes it all the better,” he said. “I like how they have other spiritual events as a part of The Crawl too.” 

Schommer added The Crawl is a great way to “center ourselves during Lent.”

“Sometimes it can be hard to focus on our spiritual lives with our busy schedules, so having a community to encourage me to go to Mass or go to a prayer is really helpful for remembering what is really important,” he said. 

Scrafford said Howard hopes to make the Chapel Crawl a signature event that will continue to grow and expand each year. 

“It’s really fun seeing how different dorms involve the people in their hall and their community in different traditions,” she said.