College Campus Ministry expands programming for Lenten season
Genevieve Coleman | Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Upon entering the liturgical season of Lent, Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry department is working with students to help them become more reflective and prayerful.
Director of Campus Ministry Regina Wilson discussed the initiatives created in order to meet this goal.
In addition to the current liturgy schedule, Campus Ministry will also host evening prayer and Stations of the Cross every week.
A ‘Busy Persons Retreat’ will also be held at the end of March.
“It is a retreat where people do reflection and prayer around Scripture readings, and then they meet with somebody once a day for 30 minutes for four days in a row,” Wilson said. “The meetings are focused either on some of Pope Francis’s writings on mercy or some other Lenten themes.”
Wilson said Campus Ministry is also currently planning a dinner conversation between students and religious studies professor Jessica Coblentz to take place during Lent.
“[Coblentz] recently wrote an article for the National Catholic Reporter on fasting and dieting and some dynamics there, so we’re going to hopefully getting a conversation going with her about that,” Wilson said.
Students can also contribute to Catholic Relief Services’ rice bowls initiative throughout Lent, by donating money in faux rice bowls located in the dorms or around campus.
“Students have been very generous in the past,” Wilson said. “… In the past few years, we’ve sent around $400.”
Campus Ministry will also host special prayer services during Holy Week in April.
“We do have a Lenten communal reconciliation service and then we do a special Stations of the Cross,” Wilson said. “… We call it ‘Solemn Stations of the Cross,’ but it is centered around women’s stories in Scripture, so it’s very cool.”
Campus Ministry also reaches out to students who are not Catholic during Lent, encouraging them to learn more about the season through informational posters.
“We develop a big poster on some theme … It’s kind of an invitation for people who may not know really know what Lent is,” Wilson said. “[Students] can pick something to do that might be impactful in their lives and closer to God.”
Students can learn more about the material on the posters through the QR codes placed on them.
“The first [poster] is going to be on prayer, just ‘What is prayer?’ and some different ways people pray, and some different things like that,” Wilson said. “There [will be] a QR code with a link to a YouTube video on meditation and introducing people to some different articles. This is just sort of trying to kind of draw more people into the season in whatever way they want to.”
Wilson asks students to try to be as prayerful as they can in this busy time in the semester.
“I’m just try to encourage students to be reflective and take time,” she said. “… It’s always kind of an interesting time to walk with people because you have all these moments … So we try to walk with students and accompany them.”