As a college student, your time may be spent in various amounts of ways. You’re either studying hard at the library, hanging out in DB catching up on group projects, or you may be in your dorm room binge watching The Office. Aside from all these “tasks,” how do you get past the dreaded question your mom tends to ask you, “Have you been going to Mass?” My mom almost always asks me this question. So what do you do? Do you lie to her and say you’ve been going when you’ve actually been sleeping in on Sundays; or, do you completely steer clear of the question and pretend you never heard it? As the semester drags on, you may start to question about your religion and how you can get more involved with it. Here a few tips on how you can stay close your faith:
One the best parts about going to a Catholic University is having a Chapel on campus. You probably pass by it every day on the way to class. Just in case you don’t know where it is, it’s the giant building right across from Villiger Residence Center. The Chapel of Saint Joseph offers mass on Sundays. Year round, they offer a community mass at 11 AM. When classes are in session, you may also go to one of the later masses offered. The mass at 7 PM has a full choir and band present, and the one at 9 PM is a candlelight mass. If neither of those fit your schedule, there’s a mass that happens Monday through Friday at 12:20 when classes are in session.
If you live on the West end of campus close to Pennbrook and don’t want to make the journey back to campus Sunday night, there’s a church located right at the corner of 63rd and Lancaster. Our Lady of Lourdes Church also offers masses in the morning on Monday through Saturday at 8:30 AM. They offer a vigil mass at 4 pm on Saturday, and at various times throughout Sunday which include: 8 AM, 9:30 AM which is a mass in Latin, 11:30 AM, and 8 PM. To find a mass time that works best with your hectic schedule visit these sites:https://sites.sju.edu/campusministry/ and http://ourladylourdes.org/mass-schedule.html
If you aren’t already involved, Campus Ministry is a great place to start with getting a stronger connection with your faith. With their main office located in Wolfington Center, Campus Ministry has much to offer. If you’re a part of their emailing list, you will receive a weekly email about what events are happening on campus. A few of these things you can find include a weekly schedule of events happening on campus, opportunities for service, and even events that can help you grow in faith. If you’re looking on their website, there are multiple tabs which include religious retreats, service opportunities, and even a tab about Jesuit identity and vocation.
Project Appalachian, or APEX for short, is possibly one of St. Joe’s most popular form of service. Taking place over spring break, students visit 17 different locations in 5 different states. Signing up for APEX has become shorter every year due to its popularity. In 2016, APEX sold out in five hours, and this past year, under 28 minutes. Capping at just 500 students, APEX isn’t just a service trip where you serve the community, but you return as a better person. It’s a learning experience from the Appalachian region and learning from the people within it. Being religious is not a requirement for this trip, but it is run by Campus Ministry so you can expect for some religious aspects to present throughout your trip.
These are only a few options on how to get stronger with you faith, but if you go around campus and explore, there’s even more to find. Saint Joe’s campus has numerous clubs and events that are put on to helps those that are willing to grow stronger in faith.