Archbishop talks 21st century faith

By: Ellen Siefke ~Head Copy Editor~

Photo courtesy of | Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati’s Archdiocese spoke to students about living Catholic in the 21st century.

The Archbishop of Cincinnati’s Archdiocese, Dennis Schnurr, made an appearance on Xavier’s campus at a Holy Power Hour event Friday in the Bellarmine Chapel.

Life After Sunday (LAS) president and senior Marie Wildemann explains that Holy Power Hour is an event the club puts on two or three times per semester. It consists of a student talk, worship and music and time for reflection in front of the blessed sacrament.

As the name suggests, it lasts about an hour and is followed by time for socializing, usually in the form of a group heading to a local restaurant.

According to Wildemann, Schnurr has attended one of the events for the past several years. At the beginning of the school year, an LAS officer gets in touch with his secretary, and they schedule a time for him to come during the second semester.

“That initial relationship was set up, and then we as LAS officers in the last couple years have kind of inherited that,” Wildemann said.

On Friday, Schnurr discussed how to be a young Catholic in a secularized 21st century, giving attendees advice on how to better live out their faith.

“One line that I specifically remember is ‘American Catholics, it seems as though they are getting more American and they are identifying as more American than Catholic, and how do we reclaim that identity?'” Wildemann said. “He wasn’t proposing anything great or grand. It was simple things we can change in our own personal lives.”

He also provided a booklet entitled “Game Changer: The Role of the Holy Spirit in the New Evangelization” for students to read and reflect upon.

Wildemann says that the attendance was about 30-35 students, along with two alumni and their families.

“It was kind of cool to see a past generation of LAS members,” Wildemann said in reference to the graduates. “Both of the alumni were married, and both had young kids, so it was cool to meet them.”

Even though Wildemann says she had hoped for greater attendance, she still sees value in having a figure like Schnurr come to Xavier.

“I think it’s really important that the Archbishop comes to Xavier University and other places like that,” Wildemann said. “Especially in a small community, it’s not like something where we get 100 people in attendance. It’s really important because the people in Cincinnati…can see this leader of the Catholic faith in Cincinnati and interact with him personally. After our event, we held a small reception, and he stayed longer than I’d seen him stay in the past, and he talked with a lot of students. Students posed a lot of questions, and he really was open to speaking with them.”

Schnurr answered questions well past the end of the talk.

The next Holy Power Hour will occur on April 8 in Bellarmine Chapel.