Campus Ministry announced on Feb. 22 that the Christ the King Chapel would be open Monday through Friday from 3 – 4 p.m. for quiet reflection time for all members of the Mercyhurst community. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to come for however long they please for a break from their busy lives.
During this time, anyone who comes can pray, meditate or simply use the quiet place to think and receive some clarity.
It is important for everyone to take a break from their busy day and take a moment for themselves and relax. With everything being virtual, it is easier to spread oneself too thin and feel like there is no time for a break.
Michelle Scully, campus minister, talked to the Merciad about the purpose of this quiet reflection time.
“We wanted to make sure that there was a space on campus especially set aside during the day with nothing going on, and no tours coming through, so that students can sit, disconnect and pray, meditate, or simply just be in some silence.” “I think it’d be wonderful if we all – students, staff and faculty – got more intentional about setting aside some time in our lives to be in silence, and I hope this dedicated space will allow people to be able to do that,” said Scully, when asked about what she hopes students will get from this added time.
During this unpredictable pan-demic time, it is important to remember to take a break every once and a while to ensure your mental health is still doing well and that you are not only focused on one thing.
Moreover, with the virus being a source of anxiety, people may feel more comfortable entering the chapel alone during this quiet time than coming to pray at a Mass when the chapel will naturally be more full.
In addition to this Campus Ministry update, Campus Ministry is also discussing the idea of removing the 7 p.m. Mass on Sunday from its schedule. This idea was thrown around after the attendance for this specific mass has been significantly less than in years past. This has only been worsened by the pandemic, which already changes how people may attend religious services.
Scully talked about why there is a later Mass.
“We’ve liked to offer a second Mass for those who are not able to attend the morning one, in order to give them more choice and chance in worship.”
There is also a trend emerging over the past few years that students are attending fewer evening events, and that is even more true with the pandemic going on. Right now there is not a set decision to keep or remove the Mass from the schedule, but the decision will be made after observations over a significant amount of time. It is likely that the Mass might not be fully phased out, if this is decided after deliberation, until 2023.
As of now, Campus Ministry is just looking for feedback from students about the 7 p.m. Mass time. There is no intention of ending it abruptly or even this year.
The next two incoming freshman classes will even have a say in this decision. Once at Mercyhurst, if they as a class show more interest in Campus Ministry, then they will also be asked about their opinion about the later Mass time.
If anyone wants to give feedback regarding the 7 p.m. Mass, there is a form on the Campus Ministry HUB page (located under the “Mission” tab) that can be filled out and submitted. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.