As was the case in most places, Lent and Easter were celebrated differently at Seton Hall this year — but here at the Hall, they were different in an unexpected way. Typically, Easter celebrations on South Orange's campus are small, serving the local faithful or the occasional student who remains on campus during the holiday, while most students go home to celebrate with their families. This year, the needs of these uncertain times brought Seton Hall together in greater numbers and higher engagement than ever before — a much-needed experience of grace in a time of pandemic.
Seton Hall Campus Ministry first broadcasted a COVID-19 Prayer Service from the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on March 19. With over 180 people tuning in on that first attempt, Campus Ministry continued providing spiritual nourishment and community through weekly student Zoom events and daily Mass live-streamed from the Chapel. Campus Ministry also offered the faithful the chance to submit prayer intentions for these Masses, which were then incorporated into the liturgies as a beautiful symbol and sign of the breadth of Seton Hall's community. "Praying with my Seton Hall family in this beautiful chapel is a wonderful part of my day," commented one alumna. Another comment read: "Thank you for allowing us to attend Mass and follow up with the adoration of our Lord! It means everything to me."
This continued into Holy Week. Hundreds of people normally absent from campus were able to be present virtually as they tuned into the Seton Hall liturgies offered on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Many attending did so from far corners of the country. "Thank you from San Rafael, CA," one comment read, complementing another who posted from West Sand Lake, NY. Many who joined from their homes heard their personal intentions read aloud and found joy in being led in prayer by on-campus priests in residence. At various times, liturgies were prayed by Fr. John Dennehy, Fr. Lawrence Frizzell, Fr. Colin Kay, Fr. Gino de la Rama, Fr. Philippe Joseph CSJ, and Msgr. Anthony Ziccardi.
"The Chapel is a spiritual home to so many students, alumni, and community members," Campus Minister Stephanie Sonnick commented. "It's been a privilege as an Office to provide people with a beautiful familiar worship space to access virtually, especially during Lent, the Triduum, and Easter. The Chapel livestream gives those at home a ‘separate prayer space' where they can pray and connect with our Heavenly Father during a time when we need Him and His grace abundantly."
Masses will continue to be live-streamed from the Seton Hall Chapel daily at noon. We continue to invite you to submit your own prayer intentions online.
As a home for the heart, mind, and spirit, Seton Hall and the Office of Campus Ministry are always available. Seton Hall is a Catholic University committed to providing a Christian education and developing community. Campus Ministry's mission is to be a pastoral presence of the Catholic Church on campus. As such, its mission is to evangelize and empower all, by the prompting of the Spirit, to become dedicated members of God's family; bring to higher education the Church's general mission, namely, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ; create an environment which allows for the spiritual, moral, liturgical and sacramental development, as well as intellectual, social, and physical growth; and guide the maturing Christian conscience, educate for peace and justice, and develop future Christian leaders.
Categories: Faith and Service