By guest blogger Courtney Gareau ’17
I have a love hate relationship with Lent. I think that is great way to work on temperance and my relationship with God, but it is also difficult because nobody really enjoys giving things up for Lent. You at least have to enjoy whatever it is that you are giving up, hence the difficulty of giving up something for Lent. I once had to explain this to one of my first grade CCD students in a conversation that went like this:
Me: “So, have any of you decided what you are giving up for Lent?”
Boy [raises hand]: “Yes! I am giving up chocolate cake!”
Me: “Ok great! Do you really like chocolate cake?”
Boy: “Oh no! I hate chocolate cake! I only eat vanilla!”
Me: “Oh that’s not quite how Lent is supposed to work.”
I then went on to explain how you are supposed to give up something that you actually like and enjoy, which is far from what my student had been planning on doing.
We all associate Lent with something that we have to give up, and then the joy of getting to go back to eating that chocolate or scrolling on Facebook once Easter comes. This year, I am challenging myself to grow in other ways during Lent. I know that just giving up a food will mean that I start eating it again after Lent. While that forces discipline, I know that it won’t have long lasting effects for me. Instead, I am working on eating healthy to work on overall health. Additionally, as a way to bridge health and the discipline of sacrificing, I am giving up the thing that we all know to well – scrolling through all of our social media accounts to see what we have missed in the past hour. My Lenten goal to work on this is that I am not allowed to go on social media when I am laying in bed because by giving this up, I am cutting back on my screen time as well as giving myself those few extra minutes for an earlier bedtime as well as nightly prayer. This leads me to the last part of what I am working on for Lent – my prayer life. This cannot be boiled down to one specific thing because I am working on this in a few different areas including Mass, Adoration, and reflection. These are all things that happen in my life already, but this Lent, I am working on increasing the frequency in a hope to deepen my prayer life and relationship with God.
This year, I am really working on having my Lenten goals be things that can continue after Easter and not just end after the 40 days. When giving things up for Lent as a kid, my dad used to always tell me, “You can do anything for 40 days.” This is very true because even difficult sacrifices can be made for 40 days. My goal this year though is to challenge myself to make my goals ones that last much longer than the 40 days. I think that this is something that we can all work on because Lent should be a time to reflect on ourselves and our own lives and make the changes that are necessary to prepare ourselves for Christ’s death as well as the redemption that comes with His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, but the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years. Can we challenge ourselves to make our Lent something that affects us for not just 40 days but for 40 years?
By guest blogger Courtney Gareau ’17 I have a love hate relationship with Lent. I think that is great way... MORE
Guest Blogger: Joe Day
Last week 45 PC students, along with assistant chaplains Fr. Justin Brophy and Fr. Peter Martyr Yungwirth, traveled down to Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life. Every year, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states during all nine months of pregnancy, hundreds of thousands from across the country gather in D.C. to call for justice and protection for the unborn.
We left PC around 7am on January 21 and headed to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the March for Life Vigil Mass. The pews, along with every available standing and sitting space, were filled with over 20,000 worshipers. It was a powerful experience to see so many Christians from across the country united in prayer to end abortion. During his homily, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and Chairman of the US Bishop Committee on Pro-Life Activities, stressed how the tide has turned in favor of life. More young people are pro-life than their parent’s generation.
Following Mass, we walked across the street to the Dominican House of Studies, where all Eastern Province Dominicans, including Fr. Brophy, Fr. Yungwirth, and Fr. Cuddy, study in preparation for ordination. We joined the Dominican priests and student brothers for Night Prayer and pizza. It was a great experience to interact with the brothers and get a glimpse of the formation that produces Dominican priests. We also had the opportunity to see PC alums Br. John Sica ’10, Br. Athanasius Murphy ’10, and Br. Jordan Zajac ’04, who are all student brothers at the House of Studies, as well as Sr. Melissa Scott ’14, who is a postulant with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.
After sleeping on the floor of the basement of St. Dominic’s Church where Eastern Province Dominicans are ordained priests, PC students spent the morning exploring the museums and monuments around the National Mall. The March itself began around 1pm. Marching with the Dominicans, I was again struck by the sheer number of people present. There really is no event quite like the March for Life. Estimates place the number of marchers between half a million and 800,000, with a large amount of young adults, and particularly college students, present. Abortion is an issue that extensively affects college students. Women are mostly likely to face crisis pregnancies during their college years, and most abortions are performed on college age women. It is really amazing, therefore, to see how college students recognize the effect abortion has on their peers.
I was reminded that colleges are crucially important fields for the pro-life movement. A major challenge for colleges is providing non-judgmental compassion and support to students facing unplanned pregnancies. Encouraged by the success of other schools and fed by the experience of the March for Life, PC for Life hopes to provide this support for students, offering them encouragement and directing them towards the many resources available so that they might choose life and help build a Culture of Life.
For information on crisis pregnancy or post-abortive healing resources or information about PC for Life and its other activities, contact Joseph Day: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Blogger: Joe Day Last week 45 PC students, along with assistant chaplains Fr. Justin Brophy and Fr. Peter Martyr... MORE
Guest Blogger: Joe DayEvery semester PC for Life hosts a week of events called Respect Life Week. The purpose of Respect Life Week is to dedicate time for the celebration of all human life.This year, RLW began with a trip to the Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence in Pawtucket, RI. The Little Sisters care for the elderly, providing them with compassionate, Christ-filled care. Members of PC for Life and Elderly Outreach joined the Sisters, staff and residence for Mass and lunch, followed by a tour. I was struck by how happy all the residents were. You could tell that they cared with dignity and love. After our tour, we helped the residents outside and joined the Diocese of Providence for an hour of pray for life. The response from those who drove by was overwhelmingly positive.Monday, PC for Life released the March for Life applications at tables in Ray. Applications can now be picked up in the Campus Ministry Center.
Tuesday was Cupcakes for Life. PC for Life handed out over 250 cupcakes outside of the library with Pro-Life quotes. Cupcakes for Life is a lighthearted, joyful way to celebrate the beauty and dignity of life.Starting after the 9PM Mass on Tuesday and continuing until the 9PM Mass on Wednesday, PC for Life sponsored 24 hours of Adoration for Life. With students signed up for hour slots, each dedicated to a specific life issue, Adoration for life is a beautiful way PC as a community devotes herself to prayer for life. Several of my friends and I chose the 4-5AM. Early morning hours are my favorite for Adoration because I can be alone with Jesus there in the Blessed Sacrament illuminated by the candles, shining in the silent darkness of the night.Respect Life Week concluded on Thursday with a talk
by Dr. Gondreau of the Theology Department, sponsored by PC for Life and Special Olympics, on the Gift of Special Needs Children. Dr. Gondreau gave a beautiful talk about his experiences as the father of a special needs child and his son, Dominic’s, embrace with Pope Francis.
Guest Blogger: Joe Day Every semester PC for Life hosts a week of events called Respect Life Week. The purpose... MORE