In my four years at Mercyhurst, I have utilized Christ the King Chapel for personal prayer and occasional Mass attendance.
I have noticed over the years, that despite the numerous requests from Campus Ministry, students have continued to use the chapel as a shortcut from Old Main to the area of Zurn Hall.
The chapel is not just another hallway for us to traipse through. It is the center of our faith community and it holds Christ himself in the tabernacle.
Using the chapel simply as a shortcut is disrespectful and borderline sacrilegious as many who use it as a shortcut give little to no regard for our Lord’s presence inside. The purpose of the chapel is to pray, not to shorten the trip from Old Main to Zurn.
In the past, the school had put locks on the side doors of the chapel leading toward Zurn, yet students would still try to enter or exit through there.
Even when not locked, the sign outside of the chapel asked students, out of respect, not to use the chapel as a shortcut to the quad. It still happens, regardless.
I can understand why one would use the chapel for this reason. In Old Main, the only ways to get to the Zurn area other than through the chapel would be to either walk all the way through Preston Hall and exit from the end or exit in front of Old Main and walk around the chapel to Zurn.
For us students who are often in a hurry to get to class or important meetings, using the chapel side door would be a temptation hard to turn away.
Therefore, I would like to propose an idea that is probably not realistic at this time. I think the school should put a door at the lobby of Old Main that would lead directly to the quad. It would be in the same area as the main entrance, but it would simply be across the lobby.
It would be a much more efficient shortcut than the chapel and it would prevent the disrespect often given to our Lord.
I know that this will not probably not happen anytime soon, if ever. Therefore, I would like to please ask that we keep the chapel sacred and put up with adding one extra minute to our movement to Zurn.
Perhaps you should try to be earlier so that you do not have to resort to using the chapel as a shortcut. However, if you absolutely need to use the chapel as a shortcut, I would like to ask that you keep in a state of reverential silence; perhaps praying an Our Father or Hail Mary and bowing toward the Blessed Sacrament before exiting.
The chapel is a place where we students have the right to uninterrupted prayer and we should respect each other and Christ by leaving the chapel in peace.