Campus Ministry invites community to pray

Esteban Serrano, Lead Editor

Nearly a month ago, I have had the distinct honor of hosting what I like to call a “mini-Mass.” It is a tradition for Campus Ministry to put on Communion Services during every lunch period in the Brother’s Chapel at Central Catholic. This year, despite ongoing pandemic worries, there are definitely precautions put in place to make sure the Host is distributed safely.

Fr. Sean Downing, Chaplain at Central Catholic, explains why one should attend a Communion Service. “Attending a communion service is a time to come to the chapel to pause and pray for a few minutes. It is a time to pray as brothers and to grow in the communion in Christ together.”

Bro. Peter Evans, who is present on campus, explains, “Structurally, they’re very similar to the Mass, but with some significant differences. Like the Mass, a Communion Service begins with an Introductory Rite (greeting) and Penitential Rite, followed by the Liturgy of the Word, which may include at least one of the day’s readings (First Reading, Responsorial Psalm, Gospel) as well as the Prayer of the Faithful (intercessions).”

He continues, “From here, it changes from the Mass a little. Instead of a Liturgy of the Eucharist, there’s simply a Communion Rite which includes, like the Mass, the Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father), the Sign of Peace, the Lamb of God, the Communion (invitation to and distribution of the Eucharist), and Prayer after Communion.  A Communion Service lacks the first two elements of the Liturgy of the Eucharist: the Prayer over the Offerings and the entire Eucharistic Prayer, the high point of the Mass when Christ becomes present in the Eucharist.”

Fr. Sean adding it is important to attend because “Our Catholic and Marianist Faith is the heart of who we are,” he says, adding that there are also other events available and planned by Campus Ministry, making a better variety for some to attend closer to their own time, or if they have any extra curricular activities. “LIFE meetings, Daily Mass and reconciliation, retreats, praise and worship concert, service, Discussions centered around the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative…”

Recommending someone to attend a Communion service, Bro. Peter says, “I would say that like other prayer opportunities, the idea behind a communion service is to spend time with God and be re-energized by growing in awareness of his presence with us.”

He continues, “I would just say to them that it’s a really special way to be with God together, and in the case of Central, together as brothers in prayer, and to be sent back out into our day re-focused.”

If a student is interested in hosting a service, or even getting involved with Campus Ministry in any way, Bro. Peter says, “For someone interested in leading (celebrating) a communion service, I’d say it’s a great way to grow more deeply into the prayer experience and set an example to your brothers that this time of prayer is important to you – that serving God is important to you and that doing that with them is important to you… Under the continuing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, ways to get involved in Campus Ministry at Central definitely looks different. There are opportunities for upperclassmen students to facilitate in the student retreats, most of which are still being offered in some throughout the year. The Guardian Angels volunteer service program is still active, though last I checked, is subject to change on a week-to-week basis in response to the pandemic. They typically do service together on Saturday mornings. Fr. Sean and Fr. Brandon are still celebrating Mass in the Brothers’ Chapel in the morning before school, and Reconciliation in the Brothers’ Chapel after school. Mr. Villalpando’s office is almost always open for visitors looking for ways to get involved or just to take a breather during lunch or homeroom. Checking in with Fr. Sean, Mr. Villalpando, or me with questions and creative ideas you might be interested in bringing to Campus Ministry is also a great way to get involved.”

If you are a student currently enrolled on campus at Central Catholic, and are looking to join or even get involved with Campus Ministry through hosting or volunteering, you are encouraged to reach out to Mr. Villalpando, Fr. Sean, or Bro. Peter and ask any questions you might have with you.

Of course, if you just wish to attend a Communion service, they are being performed during the first ten minutes of EVERY lunch period.

Esteban Serrano
Esteban Serrano
Esteban Serrano
Esteban Serrano
Esteban Serrano