FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ("FQE")
- What is the Catholic student population on campus?
It is estimated that the Catholic student population on campus ranges from 300 to 400 students. This is based solely on information from students who have self-identified as Catholics.
Attendance at Mass on Sunday evenings varies from semester to semester, but generally averages around 55 to 60 people and appears to be growing. The participants include students, faculty, staff, and people from the surrounding parishes, particularly St. Sebastian’s, St. Mary of Czestochowa, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John’s, which are all close by.
- Is there a specific Catholic student organization or group on campus?
Yes. The Catholic Student Organization or “CSO” is a specific, but informal, group of students in the Catholic tradition who organize, coordinate, and share in Catholic activities that take place on or off campus. Most of these activities are coordinated through the Catholic chaplain’s office and evolve around celebration of the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. Other activities include the opening of the year Sunday brunch, Easter Sunday Mass of Resurrection and brunch, retreats, etc.
The CSO will meet once a month, or as needed, to socialize or plan activities or events. The meetings are usually informal, short, and centered around a prayer and food! The CSO does not require dues or a formal initiation, and all persons who care about Gospel values are invited. New members, ideas, and suggestions are always welcomed. Please see Catholic Student Organization (“CSO”) for more information.
- When and where is Mass celebrated on campus?
Mass, or Eucharist, is generally celebrated on Sunday evenings at 7:00 P.M. in Memorial chapel whenever school is in session. For many, this is the “last chance Mass” of the weekend, particularly if you have been away for the weekend, just got back to campus, or forgot!
From time to time Mass will be celebrated at other times and locations. For example, we have a sunrise Mass of Resurrection on Easter Sunday in the glass-enclosed Zelnick Pavilion next to Memorial Chapel where we can celebrate both the rising of the Son and the rising of the Sun.
On occasion we may have Sunday Mass on the lawn near the chapel. On certain weeknights during Advent and Lent we may have Mass in the Catholic chaplain’s office at 10:00 P.M. located at 169 High Street, Room 205 –“the Upper Room.”
- What is Mass like?
Sunday evening Mass is generally student organized and coordinated. We may have 2 or 3 short hymns or songs leg by student musicians. Students will generally do the readings and assemble around the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer. During Advent and Lent, Mass at night in “the Upper Room” is very quiet and low key.
From time to time we will have refreshments (pizza, ice cream, etc.) immediately following Mass and there is always an opportunity to socialize.
- What about the other sacraments, such as Penance or confession?
The Catholic chaplain is generally available before or after Mass for confession or anytime that is mutually convenient.
Other sacraments, such as Confirmation and Anointing of the Sick, are celebrated whenever the need arises or by request.
- What about ecumenical services?
From time to time the Catholic community will join with the other religious communities on campus to celebrate or sponsor an ecumenical service, seminar, lecture, etc. Times and locations vary.
- Is there anyone available to discuss personal issues or problems that may arise?
Yes. The Catholic chaplain is available for one on one consultation and confidential communications whenever it is desired. No one -- student, faculty, or staff -- should feel alone or isolated. Referrals for more in-depth or extensive counselling can be facilitated through the chaplain’s office in a confidential manner.
- What about crisis or at-risk situations that may arise?
Students, faculty, and staff are all members of the one Wesleyan community and each of the chaplains – Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, and Muslim – are here to serve the community and create an accepting, affirming, and non-threatening environment. If we can be of service to you or to one of your colleagues or friends, especially in an emergency or time of crisis, please do not hesitate to let us know.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. If we cannot help you personally, we can refer you to someone who can. Regardless of faith or tradition, we are all our “brother’s keeper” and our “sister’s keeper.”
- What about special programs?
The Catholic Student Organization (CSO) will coordinate with the Catholic chaplain’s office to plan community outreach programs (for example, St. Vincent de Paul’s Society), retreats, socials, etc. throughout each semester. New ideas, events, and suggestions are always welcomed.