Lenten program ministers to Spanish-speaking community
Mary Steurer | Wednesday, March 7, 2018
To better serve Notre Dame’s Spanish-speaking community, Campus Ministry created “Caminando Con La Madre Del Amor,” a Spanish-language reflection to be held every Wednesday night in the Coleman–Morse chapel during Lent.
According to Campus Ministry’s website, the service, which translates to “walking with the mother of love,” seeks to lead students in meditation on the “Our Lady of Sorrows” rosary mysteries. Rebecca Ruvalcaba, the assistant director of multicultural ministry, said the program aims to provide Spanish-speaking students with more opportunities for rosary devotion and grew out of Campus Ministry’s usual Wednesday night Spanish rosary.
“Each service focuses specifically on one of seven ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’ mysteries,” Ruvalcaba said. “The mysteries explore how Mary, the mother of God, shared in Christ’s suffering.”
The hour-long program opens with a hymn, followed by a scripture reading, rosary meditation and sermon, Ruvalcaba said. Each sermon is delivered by an invited guest and offers thoughts about the evening’s meditation.
“[The service] looks towards Mary’s heart and her relationship with her son and how she walked as that Mother caring for him at different moments,” Ruvalcaba said.
Senior Melissa GutierrezLopez said the service guides students in reflecting on Mary and how, as the mother of God, she watched her son’s crucifixion. She views the devotions as a means for students to “reflect and have a space with God,” she said.
“It’s a nice way to create fellowship through reflection and through spirituality,” GutierrezLopez said.
The theme of the devotion — finding hope in suffering — is particularly appropriate for Lent, she said.
“It’s about how we can open ourselves up to being vulnerable and talking about our own suffering,” GutierrezLopez said.
The sermon is followed by a period of quiet reflection, Ruvalcaba said, and priests are also available for reconciliation during this time. She said the congregation then breaks into small groups to discuss the meditation.
GutierrezLopez said she values the small group time because it gives students a space to be vulnerable.
“It’s just a nice way to open up and allow yourself to feel,” GutierrezLopez said.
Ruvalcaba said the patient manner in which Mary endured her hardships makes her a fitting role model for Lent.
“At different moments in [Mary’s life] there were moments of sorrow,” Ruvalcaba said. “That being said, she always had a certain dignity, a way of taking it in and reflecting on it.”
Ruvalcaba said she hopes the service will help students come to terms with their own struggles.
“More than anything I hope that [students] gain an openness to Mary’s heart and a way of reflecting on how to deal with sorrow,” she said. “We’re all called to have different struggles as students on campus, [and] to be life not just for ourselves but for other people. I think that’s really what Lent is all about.”