Campus Ministry Lenten and Holy Week Events

March 29, 2021

By Abigail St Jean '21

This past Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week. As the campus community has been in observation of Lent, Campus Ministry has hosted various events on campus, providing opportunities for students to engage in their own spiritual journey leading up to Easter Sunday. 

A year of quarantining was bound to impact the spiritual life of students, staff, and faculty both on and off campus. To combat this, Campus Ministry hosted events throughout Lent to allow for reflection on the weekly Gospel and correlate religion with the unprecedented school year.

Campus Ministry hosted a weekly “Soupless Spirit: In Quarantine” event focused specifically on the impact quarantine has had on our spiritual lives. While reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus reminds us of constant change and a need for adaptation. To correlate with the pandemic, it remains important to maintain faith through this transformation process. This event stems from the former Lenten program series, Soup and Spirit, which was a soup lunch and a faith witness talk given by a member of the community. This semester's modified retreat was a 30-minute faith sharing opportunity for the entire campus community to give witness in a new and encouraging way.

Two students who assisted with the program were Rileigh Armstrong ’21, Campus Ministry’s theology intern and Matthew Boulet ’21, their communications intern. Although the event was not livestreamed because of the personal nature of the retreat, Campus Ministry offered a modified mini version via Instagram in hopes that people could read the Gospel on their own and inspire their thoughts through the spiritual talk summary.

Boulet posted a “Soupless Spirit Sparknotes” to wrap up each session for people who missed it. The idea of the retreat was to “treat it like a midday break, a time for reflection.  It is nice to set time aside to chill and reflect,” Boulet said. Additionally, this event promoted a safe space for attendees to share their personal thoughts. This was an “informal time to recenter” during the day, stated Boulet.

From March 15. 26, Campus Ministry hosted the Busy Person's Retreat – a 10-day retreat of daily YouTube videos centered around a Benedictine lens. The retreat model was to help students, faculty, staff, and alumni carve out the space in their daily life for God, with the hope of utilizing this time of Lent as an opportunity to grow in faith and develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of a Benedictine community.

During Holy Week, there will be additional retreats that consist of a men’s evening retreat on March 29, a women’s evening retreat on March 30, and an opportunity to join the Monastic retreat during the remainder of Holy Week.

A full list of the Holy Week schedule of events is listed on the Campus Ministry’s website. The Abbey website also contains livestreams for liturgies and retreat conferences.