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Students participate in Newman Center’s Holy Week activities

A number of Catholics on campus participated in Holy Week this week to rekindle their faith.
The week began last Friday with an event called Day of Grace. Students prayed at the Stations of the Cross and confessions were available. Afterward, they participated in a Eucharistic Procession, singing songs and praying along the way.
Campus Minister Phillip Lee said the procession started at St. Mark’s Church and went through the Bradley Quad. He said about 60 people participated in the procession.
“We did this event as a way to remind us of the importance of Holy Week and to also rekindle some of our spiritual and prayer lives that may have fallen to the wayside this Lent,” Lee said. “It’s another way to refocus our attention on the meaning of Easter.”
On Tuesday, Lee said about 15 students participated in the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary. The bishop blessed and distributed oils that would be used to baptize new Christians, give the Sacrament of Confirmation to Catholics and anoint the sick.
Students attended the Holy Thursday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary, which celebrated the Institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood.
Lee said there is a Good Friday Liturgy at the cathedral where there will be a chance to venerate what is believed to be a piece of the cross that Jesus died on. He said Saturday is the Solemn Vigil of the Resurrection.
The Newman Center will join others at the cathedral at 8:15 p.m. Several students will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, and one student will be baptized, Lee said.
Sophomore psychology major Christy Ortiz said she is one of the students receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
“I went to Mass on Thursday and Friday at St. Mary’s, which is where I’m going to be confirmed,” she said. “Also I’m going to confession so confirmation is a clean slate.”
Ortiz said she’s excited to go through confirmation.
“I feel like when I got to church on Sundays I felt that something was missing,” she said. “I felt really disconnected. For me to attend church every Sunday wasn’t enough. I needed the next step.”
Lee said he hopes this week will set a good example for students.
“We hoped to show the campus that there are those on campus that live out their faiths in their daily lives and have come to embrace it in their college careers,” he said. “We hope that people might see their peers living out their faith and consider their own lives and how they might better live out their own faith. Many of the students who participated were excited about it and have already expressed desire to have a similar event next year.”
Ortiz said she thinks events such as Holy Week are essential for students.
“It’s important because being away from your family is hard enough,” she said. “Faith is something I see that students practice with their family. You hardly ever see 16-year-olds going by themselves. It’s a good chance for students to feel comfortable to participate in things because a lot of students are in the same situation about it. I love that I can go to Mass and there are a lot of students there.”
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