Same prayers, different language
As a Catholic university, Seton Hall offers the unique luxury of having on-campus chapels for all students, faculty and parishioners to use.
As a way to diversify service on campus, SHU offers a Spanish-speaking mass held in St. Joseph’s Chapel in Boland Hall.
The Chesterton Institute, a branch of the Center for Catholic Studies, said SHU began incorporating these Spanish masses approximately seven years ago.
The content of the mass is identical to a traditional English-speaking mass, but the only difference is the language that these teachings are being spoken in.
Not only do these masses provide a way to be immersed in the Spanish culture, but they also have become a way for students and faculty alike to experience mass as they’ve always known it before their time at SHU.
SHU workers such as Marina Figueroa, Alicia Cortes and Juan Carlos Martinez said that these masses relate to them on a much more personal level, describing them as convenient, a sense of community and the same as how that they experienced mass growing up.
In addition, the institute said that they see these masses as a chance for students to interact with the Seton Hall staff.
Similar to the English-speaking masses on campus, these masses are open to the entire SHU community to participate in and learn about the Spanish culture as a whole.
Following these masses, a light lunch is served, where the community of churchgoers feel they have the opportunity to bond and reflect on the day’s mass.
Neena Andican, a freshman biology and pre-med major, said that she thinks it’s unfair to the other populations that have English as a second language.
Gianna Pallis, a freshman occupational therapy major, disagrees.
“I think it is acceptable to only offer Spanish and English because Spanish is the most popular foreign language in our country,” Pallis said.
The Chesterton Institute sees this diversifying in the campus ministry as continuing to grow and continuing to welcome all people who would like to come to mass in the next five to ten years.
The Center for Catholic Studies, Campus Ministry, the Chesterton Institute and the support and attendance of many devoted parishioners on campus helped propel this initiative forward.
These masses are held on the first Thursday of every month of the academic year.
Gianna Barone can be reached at Gianna.firstname.lastname@example.org.