New Prayer Service Format Encourages Participation


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(COVINGTON, La.) — Jeff Ramon, St. Paul’s campus minister, made a change to the usual prayer service formula on Wednesday of Founder’s Week by implementing a five-station system to allow students to choose their prayer experiences, which was well-received by the overwhelming majority of students.

“Within the time I’ve been here, we’ve only had three or five prayers services and maybe eight masses,” Ramon said, “and I felt like the was time to give some choice… sometimes guys experience God and the Spirit in a different way, and we are giving them that option to experience God in a different way.”

Due to the unavailability of a priest for the Mass originally scheduled for that day, Ramon conceived this idea as a way to divide the service into ceremonies that highlighted different traditions of Mass.

One of the stations at the prayer service was a guided meditation by Bro. Jeffrey Calligan, FSC, which was held in Our Lady Of Peace Chapel. Many students attended this option.

“I was enlightened,” junior Jackson Cretin said, who says this was his first guided meditation. “It was quiet, and you got to think to yourself without anyone preaching to you.”

A prayer service involving the Rosary was held near the Hurricane Katrina Memorial across the street from the Brothers’ Residence.

“The Rosary is a powerful prayer,” junior Jake Arena said, who chose to attend that station of the prayer service. “That’s (what) Mr. Bobak told me back in 8th grade. I got some religious vibes from that.”

Bro. Ken Boesch, FSC, held a prayer service with a central theme of music in the new gym. This proved to be one of the most popular options.

“It was a Brother Ken concert, live,” junior Noah Pitre said. “It was awesome.”

Adoration of the Eucharist was held in the Briggs Assembly Center with the help of Ramon and religion teacher Barrett Baumgartner.

“I was impressed by the number of people who attended,” Baumgartner said. “I was moved.”

A reflection on St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta’s writing was held in the Alumni Memorial Theatre, led by seniors Reagan Hill and Patrick Napier.

“It was cool,” junior Blake Franklin said. “We read the same thing a bunch of times but we reflected on her writings in a different way every time.”

Overall, the multi-station service was met with positive response, suggesting that the last-minute option was a success.

“I actually liked that prayer service better than a Mass,” junior Noah Pitre said, who liked having a choice of how to worship.

The multi-station service was so well-received, Ramon plans to do this again in the future, but has not yet planned a date.

(photos by Karen Hebert)


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