Campus chapels host Stations
Chelsey Fattal | Thursday, March 20, 2014
Saint Mary’s Office of Campus Ministry began the Easter season with a campus-wide Stations of the Cross event Wednesday in the Sacred Heart Chapel of Holy Cross. This event was the first in a series of weekly Stations of the Cross devotions, which will occur in various locations across campus in the weeks leading up to Easter.
Regina Wilson, director of Campus Ministry, said these days are the most important in the Liturgical Year.
“Stations of the Cross is a centuries old devotion that Christians observe as a way to join their earthly journey of faith to the journey of Christ, particularly the final days of his life on earth,” she said.
Kelly Gutrich, ministry assistant for residence life, said Saint Mary’s hosts three celebrations of the Stations of the Cross during the Lenten season. Other Lenten events at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame include Easter Vespers, Paschal Vespers and Notre Dame’s campus-wide Stations of the Cross.
“Celebrated every Wednesday night from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is an intense service of prayers, themes and readings, in order to reflect before Easter,” Wilson said.
Wilson said Stations of the Cross is a way for students to experience prayer. As a faith community, she said it is important to invite students into a way of prayer that helps them deepen their relationship with Christ and share their Lenten journey with one another.
Office of Campus Ministry director Judith Fean said Stations of the Cross honors the life of Jesus.
“It is a form of night prayer that celebrates the time where, in the earliest centuries of the Church, Christians in Jerusalem walked the path that Jesus walked as a way to show their devotion to Christ and to take up their own crosses of life,” she said.
As part of this year’s celebration, Gutrich said a different campus chapel will celebrate Stations of the Cross each week. She said the locations of the events are available on bulletin boards and the Campus Ministry Facebook page.
“Lenten events provide us with great community experiences as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus,” she said.
Each week, Wilson said Campus Ministry will incorporate a new theme. These themes include “Scriptural Stations,” “Eco Stations: Bearing the Cross of Christ during Climate Change,” “The Traditional Jerusalem Stations,” “No Greater Love” and “Solemn Stations of the Cross: Walking with the Women Followers of Jesus.”
In offering different themes, the Office of Campus Ministry hopes to invite participants to participate in different forms of prayer and understand human struggles.
In addition to the weekly Stations of the Cross at Saint Mary’s College, Wilson said there are opportunities to pray the “Way of the Cross” in parishes and communities all over the South Bend area.
“One important devotion, I believe, for Saint Mary’s community is that the charismatic aspects of the Holy Cross is devotion to the cross,” Wilson said. “And so the ‘Way of the Cross’ becomes another way to remind ourselves of the call to cling to the cross of Christ.
“Our only hope as a community of faith, who follow the ideals of Basil Moreau is ‘Ave Crux, Spes Unica [Hail the cross, our only hope],’ the very motto of Saint Mary’s College.”