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Lenten Chapel Crawl enhances student faith

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014

With the season of Lent in full swing at Notre Dame, the Notre Dame Lenten Chapel Crawl, sponsored by Howard Hall, provides students with a unique opportunity to bolster their faith lives while exploring different spiritual communities on campus.
Sophomore Cara Lucas, Howard’s liturgical commissioner and one of the Chapel Crawl organizers, said the event features Mass every day of Lent in a different campus chapel.
“It’s a chance for students throughout campus to visit all the other dorm chapels,” Lucas said. “We think it’s a thing that’s on a lot of people’s bucket list, so we kind of offer it as a chance to cross something off your Notre Dame bucket list.
“Doing it during Lent gives people the chance to do something extra instead of giving something up.”
Lucas said hosting the event during Lent also gives students an opportunity to relax and pray as their schedules become hectic.
“I think having it during Lent is a good time to reflect,” she said. “Some of the homilies are really helpful to hear, especially when school gets stressful. So instead of wasting an hour on the internet, I like the opportunity to spend that hour in Mass with fellow students.”
Sophomore Grace Maginn said she plans on attending all of the Chapel Crawl Masses as a way to enrich her faith life during the Lenten season.
“I wanted to pick one Lenten resolution where I gave something up, and another where I actually went out and did something,” Maginn said. “The Chapel Crawl gives me an opportunity to try and attend daily Mass more often.
“I try and go a couple days a week, but the chapel crawl posed a new kind of challenge for me, going to Mass even when I feel like I don’t have time for it.”
Maginn said the Chapel Crawl offers a community similar to Sunday night dorm Masses, but with a fresh change of scenery.
“The chapel crawl is kind of like a travelling Sunday dorm Mass community,” she said. “It’s a big enough group that you feel like the volume levels should be those for a Sunday Mass, so it isn’t your typical daily Mass experience in that sense.
“On the other hand, the group is still small enough that I feel like by the end of it I will have made a friend or two.”
Although she acknowledged social and prayer life at Notre Dame can grow too comfortable and monotonous, Maginn said the Chapel Crawl allows her and others to leave their comfort zone and encounter new people and faith communities.
“The chapel crawl gives me a chance to go to dorms I would never normally visit because, among a number of typical excuses I give, they’re too far away, it’s too cold outside or I don’t know anyone who lives there,” she said. “The chapel crawl allows me to see so many different sides of campus.”
Lucas said approximately 70 people attended the kick-off Mass in Howard, and she hopes to see a strong community continue throughout the entire season of Lent.
“Last year, toward the end [of Lent], there would only be like two or three Howard girls at Chapel Crawl Masses, so this year we put up posters and made a Facebook page to try to make it a more campus-wide thing,” she said.
Lucas said students can find a schedule for Chapel Crawl Masses on the event’s Facebook page and on the Campus Ministry website.

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About Jack Rooney

Jack is a 2016 graduate of Notre Dame, and The Observer's former managing editor. He is currently spending a year living and working for the University in Ireland, and writing columns to keep him busy. For more random thoughts and plenty of news links, follow Jack on Twitter @RooneyReports.

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