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Dorms across campus promote community through specialty masses

| Friday, August 25, 2017

Going to Mass involves a community coming together for prayer and worship. Across campus, however, dorm Masses are taking this idea of community a step further by incorporating an element after Mass that does not involve hymns or readings: food.

Whether it’s “Sundaes on Sunday” at Cavanaugh Hall or Keough Hall’s “Root Beer Float Mass,” dorm communities have decided to extend their time together outside of the chapel to gather after Mass for food and camaraderie. Senior Tommy Clarke was one of the founders of Morrissey Hall’s “s’Morrissey Mass” that takes place on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. and afterwards offers a s’mores dip and graham crackers for Mass-goers.

“The best way to bring people together: bring people around a campfire,” Clarke said. “We take a lot of pride with how we do Mass and how we do our spiritual life here in Morrissey.”

Clarke said s’Morrissey Mass had some initial challenges, such as the weather posing a problem. Now, they only have s’mores outdoors on special occasions, such as the first s’Morrissey Mass of the year Wednesday. Other times, Clarke said, s’mores dip is enjoyed indoors where students and hall staff can be found dipping graham crackers in a dip comprised of melted chocolate and marshmallows.

“We perfected our recipe, we like to say, and we brought quite a few people back — especially with people outside of our dorm, even,” Clarke said.

Fr. Paul Doyle is the rector of Dillon Hall, home of “Milkshake Mass.” This Thursday night event is one of the most popular dorm food Masses on campus, and it was started in October of 1997.

“This was an effort on our part to try to offer something wholesome and social right there,” Doyle said. “It’s always been social. … It was just a chance to have some fellowship after mass.”

The most milkshakes Dillon Hall has made on one night is 308, Doyle said. He said Dillon residents make the 16-ounce milkshakes using a blender that processes a gallon every turn, and on a typical Thursday night, the hall goes through about 38 gallons of ice cream. Any extra milkshakes from Milkshake Mass, Doyle said, go to Dillon’s sister dorm, Welsh Family Hall.

“It’s Thursday night when people want something to do other than study, and it’s a nice way to end the day,” he said. “We’re the first food Mass, but  it’s all about fellowship. That’s what people need to find strength in the community.”

Alyssa Daly, sophomore and hospitality commissioner for Ryan Hall, is involved in organizing Ryan Hall’s Waffle Mass that takes place Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. Especially for freshmen, she said, the Mass is designed to help them get to meet people around the dorm, such as their in-residence priest, Fr. Joe Carey.

“I think because of the community-building that comes out of it, it’s just a chance to talk to people,” Daly said. “Something we’re doing this year is on the first Wednesday of the month we’re doing Belgian waffles instead of Eggos.”

Clarke also emphasized the importance of community during these specialty masses.

“I think that the Mass can bring people together in prayer and really develop our spiritual lives and our relationship with God, and I think it’s important to do that together,” he said. “But I think our s’mores can bring together people for that other aspect of their lives, that community-building.”

A full list of specialty dorm Masses is available on Campus Ministry’s website.

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About Selena Ponio

Selena Ponio is from Dallas, Texas and is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame. She is the Associate News Editor for The Observer. Selena lives in Breen-Phillips hall and is majoring in International Economics with a concentration in Spanish and is minoring in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy.

Contact Selena