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Inclusive mass marks the beginning of Interfaith Week


The soft blend of harmonious melodies rose in the air of the Loyola University Maryland Alumni Chapel as students, professors, and local community residents gathered in the aged wooden pews, their faces alight with the joy of greeting old friends in the face of a new semester. On Sunday, Jan. 20, Loyola University Maryland kicked off the celebration of the second annual Interfaith Week with a special Sunday liturgy at 6 p.m. The theme of this liturgy was “Outside In,” where the Church welcomed members of diverse religions within our community and invited all to learn about the longstanding traditions present in the quintessential Roman Catholic liturgy. In order to do so, George Miller, the associate director of Campus Ministry, reviewed an informative handout at the beginning of the worship that outlined the various ancient rituals unique to the Catholic religion. He defined the listed key terms so that any individual would be able to understand the proceedings and engage comfortably.

The Mass followed the usual track of the Introductory Rites, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Communion Rite, and finally, the Concluding Rites. Through repetition of these practices in each Mass, the body of the Church actively gathers, listens, responds, and sends forth the blessing of the Gospel into their lives and into the lives of those in the community.

When asked about the impact of this liturgy, Erin Murphy ‘21, a singer in the Chapel Choir, said, “Everyone is in a unique place in their faith journey, and this event helped to recognize and welcome all who come to the chapel to praise and worship.”

The presider, David Haas, provided a homily to the congregation concerning standing with those who have been marginalized and consequently forced to reside on the edge of our society. He mentioned the recent March for Life and Women’s March held this past weekend across the country. He stated how it is our duty to be present in the moment for those in need. As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, he implored the congregation to reflect upon how we can stand for what we believe in, similar to how Dr. King stood with an unbreakable determination in the pursuit of liberty.

In reflection of this homily, Murphy said, “Actively practicing my Catholic faith and being able to look and rely on God to hear and answer my prayers helps get me through difficult and stressful moments in my life.”

In a detailed brochure of the event available in the Alumni Memorial Chapel, Interfaith Week is defined by Campus Ministry as a week in which a united community “honors, celebrates, and welcomes people of all faith traditions, spiritual practices, and beliefs. We invite the community not only to coexist, but to pro-exist: promoting one another with a message of love.”

Interfaith Week encompasses several special events on campus between Jan. 20 and Jan. 25. Some of the events held at various places on campus this week include a Women in Faith Celebration in the Sellinger VIP Lounge on Wednesday, a Faith Exploration Day in the Boulder Atrium on Thursday, and a Hope & Renewal Interfaith Prayer Service in the Alumni Memorial Chapel on Friday.


Feature Image: Courtesy of Greyhound News


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Inclusive mass marks the beginning of Interfaith Week