CFJ Hosts Outdoor Bilingual Mass

Sunday Mass was delivered in English and Spanish, in association with HOLA.

By Daniel Irvine, Guest Writer

Last Sunday, Sept. 17, students gathered on the Xavier yard outside Husman and Kuhlman for an outdoor bilingual mass hosted by the Xavier Center for Faith and Justice (CFJ) and Hispanic Organization for LatinX Awareness (HOLA). 

The mass was led in English and Spanish. The first and second readings were delivered in Spanish. Songs would start with Spanish and then also be sung in English, and Father Eric Sundrup, S.J., who led the mass, fluently switched between English and Spanish at multiple points.

photo courtesy of @xucfj via Instagram
Despite the lack of cooperation from the weather,  the Center for Faith and Justice’s bilingual mass was still held after attendees migrated inside Bellarmine Chapel to shelter from the rain.

While the mass was supposed to be celebrated outside in the yard, unexpected rain caused the congregation to move inside and finish the mass in Bellarmine Chapel.However, there were still a few moments for attendees to experience the outdoors. 

“Our campus is a good spot for it,” said junior nursing major Nicki Mabry. “The green spaces on campus try to be more like a park than just a campus, making it a good space to experience God, not only in the liturgy, but also in nature.”  

The mass being outdoors was also meant to serve as a way of inviting others to participate, according to Father Eric Sundrup, S.J.

“We try doing mass outside so that people would see it as they walk by. We obviously try to do these masses more in September when the weather is nice, but it serves a great way for people to know that mass is going on and make them feel free to join,” Sundrup said.

The bilingual mass also served to be more inclusive of a wider community at Xavier.

“It was a great chance for Aurelio and HOLA to promote their club,” Sundrup said.

Vice President of HOLA Aurelio Garcia promoted other events that HOLA is hosting in the future for students to participate in while also explaining what the club does around campus and the purpose behind the club.  

“It is helpful for us to realize that the church is universal, it focuses on cultures all around the world,” Sundrup said. “It would be great someday if we were doing bilingual masses in all different languages.”

Students expressed appreciation for a bilingual mass, promoting the different languages and cultures on campus. There are hopes from some students for more bilingual masses in the future, potentially in other languages. 

“I would love to have more masses in other languages,” said Mabry. “Being able to experience all these other cultures on campus, especially through mass, is incredible.”

While it has not been announced if there would be more bilingual masses in different languages in the future, many are open to the opportunity. 

“If students want more masses like this, that would be awesome,” said Fr. Sundrup. “It’s a great experience and way for students to get involved, and promote the languages in which they are fluent in.”