I certainly didn’t know that much about liturgical ministry until I joined and learned firsthand. It’s good to know what a club of this size is all about and it would be a tragedy to not mention all of the great things I have to say about this club as well as how it works.
So, what is liturgical/campus ministry? If you haven’t noticed by now, there is a chapel located behind the middle section of Canisius Hall and the Barone Campus Center. Within that chapel are weekly masses and sometimes events. Liturgical ministry is composed of all of the students that serve at those masses.
We have Readers (the people that read during the mass), Eucharistic ministers (the people that give out the Eucharist), Sacrastins (the people who set up the Sacristy where the Eucharist is held) and hospitality (the people who greet everyone when you come in and pass out the donation baskets). As you can see, there are plenty of positions to choose from.
Even though there is some commitment, there is lots of flexibility and there are no requirements to join. How liturgical ministry runs is that everyone must attend the weekly campus ministry meeting unless they inform ahead of time that they can’t make it. Everyone in campus ministry serves mass two-three times per semester. If someone can’t serve mass on a particular day that they’re assigned, then they just have to get someone in campus ministry that has the same role to cover them for that day. No one has to make up a day if they can’t make it. That’s as far as requirements go. We accept everyone from a very relaxed Catholic right up to those that have a deeper faith life.
Why does anyone join a liturgical ministry? There are a lot of benefits to the club. You first have the chance to meet so many people. I would estimate that there are about thirty students at least that are involved in liturgical ministry. Out of all of the people I’ve met within the past year, a good majority of them I’ve met in liturgical ministry.
The liturgical ministry also provides a great opportunity to meet the campus ministry’s staff members and the Jesuits. Serving at the masses involves working alongside the Jesuit that is also serving that mass. There’s also our new campus minister Valarie Kisselback who has just started in the campus community this year! A part of her role as campus minister is to run the weekly campus ministry meetings. There are plenty of opportunities to talk with her and other staff members that work in campus ministry. It’s also a very good way to deepen one’s faith.
Our weekly meetings involve being given a prompt and talking about it in small groups. There’s no pressure – this isn’t like high school small groups where everyone has to talk or else you fail the class. You’re not required to say anything. Listening to other people’s faith experiences is perfectly valid in these groups. Even if you’re not really sure about your faith, it gives people a chance to listen and learn about other people’s experiences and the Jesuit values on which this campus stands.
Like I said in the beginning, I didn’t know that much about campus ministry when I first joined freshman year. I can honestly say now that joining was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Campus ministry is so large for a reason; people enjoy both serving at mass and the community that they’re surrounded by. It’s safe to say that this club has deserved its time to shine in the spotlight.