Today on The Life of a SMC Girl, I wanted to take you on a virtual tour around a place that has been quite important in my life at SMC- the Chapel!! For those of my wonderful readers who don't know, I have been involved with Campus Ministry since I was a first year. Whether it's been helping volunteer through MOVE, serving at the 7pm mass, or being a Senior team leader of VITA, campus ministry has helped shape me into who I am today. It also means that I get to spend a lot of time in the lovely Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel and become known as the Princess of it (Hahahaha!! Just kidding- even though if there was one, it would probably be me with the amount of time I spend there :)
|Top photo: the Chapel's front entrance (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/5904915) Middle: the Chapel at Christmas- my favorite!! Bottom: a prayer service in the back altar space with my friends, Nicole and Greg!!|
The Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel was built in 1965, making it the largest Chapel in the state of Vermont. It seats 1000 people and is shaped like a cross, so there is seating in the north, east, and west naves, and another altar space in the back. The Chapel is a place where everyone is welcome, whether you identify with a different religion or don't choose to practice. I always come here just to de-stress or when my life seems chaotic, gain some quiet time to myself. What most people don't know, however, is that there is an Upper Room upstairs in the Chapel, which is full of comfy couches, pillows and blankets, a fully stocked kitchen and an alarm clock, in case you want to take a nap up there. It's where I usually go to study if the Academic Buildings or Library is really packed.
|Thank you to www.sse.org for the picture. St. Edmund mass 2012, with all of the Edmundites!!|
Of course, we can't talk about the Chapel without the Edmundites. The Edmundites were founded during the 19th century and settled in Pontigny, France. They were named after St. Edmund of Canterbury (who, fun fact, had his arm in the SMC archives for a bit, serving as a relic- how cool is that?!) and have been known for their establishment of Mont St. Michel and St. Anne's Shrine as a pilgrimage site, being leaders within the civil rights movement (Edmundite Fr. Maurice Ouelet actually was one of Martin Luther King's closest confidants!!) in Alabama, working within Latin American countries such as Venezuela, and establishing the first catholic school in Vermont... you guessed it!! Saint Michael's College :) The Edmundites still have a presence on campus (as you can see from the picture above :) and are probably some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
PS- can you see me in this picture? :)
|VITA team 2013-14!! From top left: Tim, Maura, Colleen, Emily, Kate. Bottom left: Kelly, Lauren Murphy, me, Po.|
|Jay blessing an animal in the Sanctuary!!|
|Po and Jerome at the lecturn|
|Welcome Back Social- perfect way to cool off and eat some delicious ice cream!!|
|LEAP Fall 2013!! From left: Alex, Amanda, Kerry, Mary, Marci, me, Emily, and Nicole.|
Retreats one of the most intrinsic parts of campus ministry and depend heavily on the Chapel to serve as the setting to prepare for each semesters group. Retreats are held one weekend every semester at St. Anne's Shrine, geared to helping find what students need in their lives at the moment. LEAP, our community based retreat, and Emmaus, our Ignatian spirituality retreat, are our two most popular retreats, in which students give personal talks and experiences, planning for months to make the retreat a reality. Retreats are open to everyone of any faith and are extremely well attended. The connections you make with others on the retreats are priceless and have really helped me to find myself and my faith throughout my retreat weekends.
|This year's Way of the Cross group in the Chapel lobby!! From left: Shawn, Greg, Chris, Maura, Aaron, Allie, Chris, me, Alex, Caitie, Po, Allie, Tyler, Lucia, Kristen, and Lauren Loy.|
As I was mentioning before, we have a lot of events both for the community on campus and off. One of these events is Way of the Cross. Way of the Cross is a really awesome way of taking the typical Stations of the Cross during a Friday in Lent and giving it a personal touch, infusing personal narrative into each station. For the past four years, I have played Mary Magdala and it has been an amazing experience. So many students help out each March with this, practicing late at night in the Chapel the night before and we always get such a nice turn out!!
|Lit Choir at Catholic Central HS, Albany NY!!|
Phew!! I probably exhausted you all from our look around the Chapel- don't worry, we can take a breather hahaha!! Honestly though, the Chapel is a phenomenal place not only for reflection, but a place where no matter who you are or what you believe in, you can somehow find something special about it. It has really become my home away from my dorm on campus, as it's the place where I really was able to develop into the person I am today, something I'm extremely thankful for.
Until next time, I send you my very best wishes,