A college campus chapel goes ‘ad orientem’

Ad-Orientem-Cartoon-Meme-640x578Our leaders and pastors must open their eyes to the obvious.

For your Brick By Brick file from a reader…

I wanted to email you and let you know some good developments at the Newman Center at Wichita State University. The pastor has decided that during some renovation in the sanctuary, he is going to celebrate Mass ad orientem. The response has been very positive, and I think this is particularly important because this is at a college campus which, obviously, caters to younger people (who are looking for tradition).

The pastor released an explanatory insert in the bulletin, which has some great quotes by current students as well. You can see it HERE.

Some other local parishes have been adding ad orientem Masses, and this is just the most recent of those. Good news for the Diocese of Wichita!

Card. Sarah was right to call on more priests to celebrate Holy Mass ad orientem.  HERE

This is an important step in the revitalization of our sacred worship and the recovery of our identity.

Quotes from students in the aforementioned letter:

“My whole perception of the mass changed when all of our focus and direction, including the priest, was directed towards the Eucharist, It wasn’t me, the priest, and Jesus. It was just me and our Lord.”

“Celebrating Mass in this way has brought about a more rich understanding for me. I have been able to enter more deeply into the Mass…”

“Having Mass celebrated Ad Orientem gives me a greater sense of the reality of the Priest offering the sacrifice to God.”

¡Hagan lío!

Make it a movement.

Fr. Z kudos.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Stephanus83 says:

    After mass last Sunday, the pastor of my parish announced that ground breaking would start for our new church this summer. Our current church was built in a circular shape, with hardly enough room for the Priests to move around the altar, and with some of the ugliest stained glass ever produced. I know this isn’t on par with a return to ad oritentem, but it’s a big achievement for this location. When the pastor installed kneelers several years ago he had to remind parishioners that we are Catholics and Catholics kneel during Mass. The fact that our church is being rebuilt in a much more traditional and liturgically appropriate manner is an answered prayer. This is also a University parish. Brick by brick.

  2. hwriggles4 says:

    From experience (Full disclosure – Texas A and M Catholic alumnus) the Newman Centers that are true to the magesterium are thriving. The young people are hungry and want the meat and potatoes. Quite a few seminarians from Kansas are coming from good places like Wichita State. Newman Centers functioning like 1982 are empty and often wonder why. Young people aren’t looking for feel good pop psychology.

    By the way, some recent bishop choices (Cheyenne, Tulsa, San Angelo) are bishops with experience staffing Newman Centers.

  3. scholastica says:

    I’m also at this parish and while it is a tremendous change, many are disappointed that there is no room for discussion on altar rails or ad orientem and the pews will still face in on each other. While we have priests that could say a traditional rite Mass, this too doesn’t seem to be in the discussions. The one Mass that had some Latin chant has been anglicised while the folk Mass and life teen Mass still rock strong. I’m afraid it may all be cosmetics while the Mass itself remains man- centered. I hope and pray that I’m wrong.

  4. PTK_70 says:

    The more Newman Centers that go ad orientem – irrespective of Rite or form – the better.

    And maybe, just maybe, plainchant scholas will become more prevalent on college campuses as well….

  5. JonathanTX says:

    I might suggest posting flyers at the music departments of universities (among other places, I hope), looking for volunteer singers for a Latin chant schola. The students often appreciate chant for the musical and music history aspect, and are unaware of chant’s place as a shibboleth in the Catholic liturgy wars. Vetus evangelizatio.

  6. akdo says:

    The Catholic Center at Georgia Tech was celebrating ad orientem when I was there for undergrad. After moving back to Atlanta, I found that they started celebrating EF masses on Wednesdays and Sundays. It’s a beautiful thing they’re doing over there!

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