Evening Mass celebrated at Founders Hall

Approximately 30 students joined the brothers of the Casa María community to celebrate the final evening Mass of the semester at Founders Hall on Thurs., Nov. 19. Rev. Rudy Vela, S.M., vice president for Mission and Identity, presided at the Eucharist.

At the conclusion of the Mass, the prayer room of the residence hall, which was funded by a private donor, was blessed and light refreshments of pan dulce, fruits, vegetables, juice and hot chocolate were served.

As part of their efforts to connect with the student community on campus and support faith formation and spiritual growth, the brothers of Casa María made the commitment to celebrate their Thursday evening community Mass every week throughout the semester at Founders Hall, which houses approximately 300 freshmen.

Each week, a different Marianist offered to preside at the Mass to support their efforts. Celebrants included Norbert Brockman (Woodlawn Community), John A. Leies (Marianist Residence), Patrick McDaid (Woodlawn Community), Cris Janson (Holy Rosary Parish), Kip Stander (Woodlawn Community), Ken Templin (Hale Malia) and Rudy Vela (Ligustrum).

“Our mission is very much a part of sharing our Marianist heritage…to gather at Eucharist. That’s where community is created,” said Vela. “What the community has done in taking the initiative to provide this opportunity is a real gift…it’s a living, vital, joyful part of the way we celebrate the mission in a very active and positive way.”

A regular group of about 20-40 students attended the weekly Mass. Some expressed their appreciation for having the opportunity to celebrate the Mass in the residence hall.

“I’m glad that the brothers of Casa María have decided to bring Mass this way [to Founders Hall],” said Leo Benavides, a St. Mary’s student. “Receiving the Eucharist is one of the greatest joys we can have so after my studies, coming to a late night Mass feels just great.”

“I think it’s very important [to have Mass at Founders Hall] and I feel proud that we have a Mass here at our own place and other individuals from other dormitories can come by,” added Katherine Benavides, another student at St. Mary’s.

With the upcoming Thanksgiving break and study week approaching, Nov. 19 was the final Thursday evening Mass for the semester. The community intends to continue with the schedule in the spring.

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