Bulletin Letter from January 29

Dear Friends,

Something remarkable is happening on Wednesday nights at Newman. In many ways, it has been going on for 7 years, but it has a new energy this semester.  EMMAUS is our primary weekly gathering for college students outside of the Sunday Mass. It’s really a two hour program. The first hour is a time of learning and praising.  The second hour is a Mass. We have always billed the EMMAUS experience as “the retreat that last all semester;” this year, we are making good on that slogan better than we ever have before. The theme this semester is “Conversion,” and each week is, in some way, pointing those who participate to the renewal of Baptismal Vows which takes place at Easter.  We are encouraging our students, especially as Lent approaches, to see this as a time of growth and drawing closer in their walk with Jesus (The Emmaus story in Luke 24 is a story about disciples walking the road with and being taught by Jesus). Each week, 60-80 students gather and are being taught by their peers and our staff various tools to aid in the processes of conversion, reflecting together on the scripture, participate in discussion, have it concretized by some simple rituals, and join their voices in sung praise.  All of this takes place even before the Mass begins. Mass is lively and reverent. The homily is always a dialogue in which the themes of the evening are brought into the celebration of the liturgy. After it is all over, there is a time of refreshments and fellowship in the Newman lobby. It is so uplifting to my middle-aged heart to see such openness and dedication from so many of our students.  It is going to be exciting to participate with these young people in a special ritual to renew their baptismal vows at the EMMAUS during Easter week. While the focus of EMMAUS is the student experience, I extend an invitation to the whole community to drop in and check it out, come at 7 o’clock for the Emmaus portion or at 8 o’clock for the Mass, or for the whole evening and prepare to be blown away by our young brothers and sisters. STUDENTS: If you have never been to EMMAUS or haven’t been for a while, come check out the excitement on Wednesday night!

I would like to invite you to participate in a special Lenten project in our community.  We will prepare a Lenten reflection booklet with one page reflections written by members of our community for every day in Lent. You can sign up today to take responsibility for a single day’s reflection.  These will need to be completed in the next 2 weeks so that we have time to print the booklets before the beginning of Lent. The booklets will be made available for purchase for a nominal charge to aid you on your Lenten Journey this year.  Today is the day to sign up.

Peace,

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