Kicking off Holy Week with the CFJ

Four Jesuit priests gather with the XU community, offering spiritual direction

Even though religious communities across the nation are unable to meet this Holy Week, the CFJ has prepared a series of virtual events to connect religious leaders to the community. Holy Week at the CFJ began with the “Ask a Jesuit” panel.

The Center for Faith and Justice (CFJ) and the campus Catholic Ministry Team hosted an “Ask a Jesuit” panel on Monday over Zoom where students were invited to connect with members of the Xavier Jesuit community. Panelists included Father B, Father Tom Kennealy, Father Eric Sundrupe, and Mr. David Inczausksis. 

   The panel was originally planned to be hosted on campus but had to be adapted to an online format. “We were looking to engage Catholics on their own terms and give them an opportunity to ask Jesuits what’s on their mind,” said Catholic Chaplain Luke Hanson. “Given the Circumstances, we converted the event to Zoom. It’s also a good opportunity for us to check in on the campus community.”

The Panelist discussed topics such as what being a Jesuit means to them, the history of Jesuits at Xavier, key moments in their personal faith journey, as well as the Church’s sexual abuse crisis.   

The panel also gave the opportunity for students to check-in with the Jesuit residence. Father B stated that he was grateful for his situation in the Jesuit Residence. “We are all eating, sleeping, and taking care of each other,” Said Father B “No one has killed anyone yet so I’ll say we’re doing well.” He went on to say that one of his favorite parts of self-isolation has been experiencing the different styles of liturgy via Zoom. 

The Panel event was part of the CFJ’s Holy Week planning. “We want to meet students where they are and we’re finding out there is no easy solution,” said CFJ associate director Rev. Abby King-Kaiser. “We’re trying to use multiple forms so folks can access them at their own pace.” She went on to say that time zones and changes in student schedules have been unique challenges. 

For the rest of Holy Week, the CFJ will be hosting a Holy Thursday Table Fellowship at 3 pm and a Good Friday service at 1 pm. Bellarmine Chapel will be live streaming liturgy services at 7:30 pm for Good Friday and Vigil Saturday and 9:00 am on Easter Sunday.  

Other CFJ events include for daily morning and evening reflection via Instagram and Bellarmine Chapel mass live streams every Monday through Friday at 5 pm and Sundays at 9 pm. Additionally, the CFJ is compiling a Catholic Community Book of Intentions; an online space for the Xavier community to submit anonymous petitions for prayer.   

The CFJ also has remote engagement plans for other faith traditions. Jewish chaplain Rabbi Jennifer Lewis has been doing Passover preparations over Instagram and Muslim Chaplain Tala Ali is preparing for Ramadam which begins towards the end of April. “It’s cool to be apart of a multi-faith staff that is wrestling this together,” Said Rev. King-Kaiser. “we are able to be creative because of the makeup of our team.” 

Father B encouraged everyone to celebrate wherever they are. He saw it as a good opportunity for families to be together. “Whenever things are taken away, you have time to listen more deeply,” Said Father B. “Being together is prayer. God will show up.”