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April 14, 2009

April 14th, 2009 admin

As of today, there are only eleven days of class left. How frightening is that?

Today is the first day of classes after Easter Break. My break was extremely relaxing. I stayed here (it’s a long story. Basically, my plans fell apart at the last minute.), and, although I was one of twenty five kids on campus, it was still enjoyable. I spent most of my time either in the Chapel or working on my papers. The Chapel services were gorgeous. Our really big week began with Palm Sunday. We started outside on the Chapel plaza and then made our way into St. Joseph’s. I was altar serving at that Mass, and it was incredible to see how many people were at that one Mass. St. Joseph’s was literally filled. It was great. Our solemn liturgies continued with Mass on Holy Thursday. Fr. Lynch said the Mass, and he gave a beautiful homily about the washing of the feet. We ended that Mass with adoration of the left over consecrated Body of Christ in the McCooey Chapel. Good Friday, as always, was an intense Mass. For those of you who have never been to a Good Friday service, it’s an emotional draining experience. Add some of the most brilliant men on this earth (aka the Jesuits) and it’s just an all over strenuous experience. Fr. Savard said this service (it’s technically not a Mass), and, like Fr. Lynch, gave a stirring homily. The service culminated with the veneration of the Cross. Fr. Hayes’ nephew, who is about five, was at the Mass, and it was adorable to see him venerate the Cross. He kept on looking up at Fr. Hayes for approval. It was really cute, trust me. Mass on Holy Saturday was probably one of the most beautiful Masses that I have ever attended (it’s second only to the Mass I chanced upon in Montserrat). Fr. Hayes said the Mass. Even to hear the Exstultet sung is such an amazing experience. Of course, that Mass is particularly long (about 2 hours, and that was without any initiates!), but it’s just so gorgeous. There are so many readings to remind everyone about God’s works through salvation history. Oh, yes – at this Mass, I learned that I cannot set up a tablecloth. See, on Good Friday, the altar is completely stripped, and it’s set up again only at the Vigil. Well, because I was altar serving, I had the task of setting up the tablecloth. I spent about three minutes trying to put it on the altar. It was kind of embarrassing. But that’s not the point. The point is that the Mass was gorgeous. And, of course, our Triduum celebration ended with Mass on Easter Sunday. I have never seen the Mary Chapel that filled. Students, faculty, and locals attended the Mass. Fr. McFarland said the Mass, and his homily (as always!) was so intellectually engaging. He even apologized for it being so heavy for an Easter homily. Welcome to life with the Jesuits – you are constantly learning, even if you’re just walking.

Saturday night, the Jesuits had all those who attended the Easter Vigil Mass at Ciampi for a brief reception. As I sat and talked with Fr. Reiser, Fr. Lynch, Fr. Hayes, and all the other members of the Jesuit community, I realized how much I’m going to miss this group of fantastic and brilliant men next year. Even seeing them on campus just makes my day. I’m excited to study abroad – don’t get me wrong. I’m just trying to take in everything that these last twenty four days have to offer because I know that I won’t be able to experience any of it again until senior year. That’s just scary, isn’t it?

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