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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Engage with Lent this year

    Photo taken by Brendan Rohde
    By Brendan Rohde-

    “I think that Lent is a great time to reorient ourselves on God, in what is true and beautiful in our lives and to rededicate ourselves to what is truly important,” said Ms. Katie Murphy, a religion teacher.

    Lent is a liturgical season in the Catholic Church where Catholics are encouraged to practice fasting prayer and almsgiving. Being a Catholic school, Gonzaga offers so many opportunities in order to engage with our faith and with this holy season.

    These opportunities include daily mass every day in the chapel at 7:45 a.m, Stations of the Cross every Friday at 7:45 a.m. in St. Aloysius Church and Eucharistic adoration during lunch periods on Tuesdays during Lent. Opportunities to participate in service include volunteering at the McKenna Center on Thursday and Friday mornings, playing chess at WJA on Mondays after school or playing bingo at Unique residential after school on Wednesdays.

    In addition to these opportunities for prayer and service, Fr. Patrick Nolan, SJ, Director of Campus Ministry & Ignatian Identity, and the other Jesuits at Gonzaga are also offering the sacrament of reconciliation during lunches on Wednesday in the chapel and outside on Eye Street after school. Fr. Nolan shared that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he began to hear confessions outside, and he shared more on why he continues this practice. 

     “So rather than being in a confessional small space, I decided to do it outside, and you have more visibility. I think, for me, what I like about doing the sacrament of reconciliation of being available for conversation on Eye Street outside is that it’s visible. Students, faculty and staff can see that it’s available, and maybe that gets them to think a little bit about do they want to have a conversation? Do they want to engage with their faith? Do they want to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation?” Fr. Nolan said. 

    Fr. Nolan also spoke on how people that may not be Catholic or religious can still take advantage of the Lenten season. 

    “Lent calls us to kind of come to our senses in our faith and say, all right, how do I want to live out my faith? Maybe if I’m not a person of faith, it just says how do I want to live my life? And so, what Lent invites us to do is to come home, and sometimes that’s recalling practices that have worked in the past that have brought us closer to God,” Fr. Nolan said. 

    Speaking on his engagement with Lent over his time at Gonzaga, senior Luke Essig’24 talked about how Gonzaga actively helps students and staff stay committed to some of the Lenten obligations.

    “I think Gonzaga makes it very easy to uphold your Lenten sacrifices, no matter what they may be. Meatless Fridays with Sage are a great place to start,” said Luke Essig ’24.

    Santiago von Stauffenberg ’24 shared that for Lent he was giving up ice cream.

    “I am giving up ice cream because it is a habitual craving that I have, and by giving it up, I am able to focus more on my relationship with God and with others in my life,” von Stauffenberg said.

    Through engaging with Lent this year, the Gonzaga community can come together by practicing these values of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

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