Published: February 18, 2016
The Center for Service and Social Justice, an office of Campus Ministries, kicked off the Lenten season with a chocolate fountain on a day that has come to be known as “Fat Tuesday”.
Even before that, during the first week of classes, teams of students began meeting to prepare for two of the services Campus Ministries will offer this Lent.
“One team of students is preparing to coordinate a reconciliation service on March 8,” Fred Mercadante of Campus Ministries said.
He explained that the reconciliation service would have not just priests hearing confessions, but also student talks, reflections and creative music.
Meanwhile, the other team of students is preparing a Stations of the Cross service for March 15 according to the Gospel of Luke. The service will include representations of many of the characters from Luke, as well as music, student reflections and scripture readings.
Those two services, however, do not encompass all that Campus Ministries is offering this Lent. Prior to masses, students will give reflections about how their involvement in Campus Ministries has strengthened and furthered their faith, coming from different themes such as retreats and service.
Additionally, students who attend the 7 p.m. mass will have a unique experience with the gospel.
“We’re going to be doing dramatic readings of the Gospel at the 7 p.m. Mass for the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays in Lent,” Mercadante described. “The Gospel will be read, but it will be read in three parts and there will be some music involved and some reflection as well.”
As always, Campus Ministries will lead the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) process, which prepares students to become new members of the church, and culminates with their Baptism, First Communion, and their Confirmation.
The Center for Service and Social Justice is offering service activities in addition to the faith-based programs offered by Campus Ministries. They are running a program called “Forty Bags in Forty Days.”
For each of the 40 days in Lent, they will collect different kinds of items, including backpacks, pajamas and dishes that will then go to different charities in the Scranton community
Lori Moran of the Center for Service and Social Justice explained, however, that when things are donated it is not strictly based on the schedule; students can donate any of the items being collected on any day.
She expanded on one more option students have during the Lenten season to give back to global communities.
“The Catholic Relief Services student ambassadors are also doing a rice bowl event; you can collect spare change and dollars in a rice bowl,” Moran said. “At the end of Lent we’ll be donating that to CRS and they provide assistance to people in need globally.”
This Lent, students have a myriad of opportunities to both grow in their faith and give back to the local and global communities.
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