Christendom exists to prepare students to be lay leaders and impact society for the better. Achieving that goal requires a top-notch liberal arts education, but also a vibrant spiritual life. Christendom offers its students many opportunities to grow in their spiritual lives, with two Masses on campus daily, but now the chaplaincy and students are aiming to boost the spiritual life on campus that much more, through a greater participation in the Liturgy of the Hours.
The Liturgy of the Hours is prayed three times daily on campus, and has been a part of the liturgical offerings for many years. Like most activities on campus, the Liturgy of the Hours relies heavily on student initiative and participation, with students, like senior Joshua Butek, leading the Hours and encouraging other students to join as well. Together with chaplain Fr. Marcus Pollard, Butek and others have made a greater effort this year to encourage more students to join in, resulting in dozens more students participating on a daily basis.
“Night Prayer, especially, is now seeing many more students participate,” says Butek, who leads it every evening. “Night Prayer, or compline, orients a person to God. It orients our studies, our activities, and our endeavors toward God.”
Butek has been leading Night Prayer since his sophomore year, after it was passed on to him by a graduating senior. While the number of students participating has always been modest, the Liturgy of the Hours has seen a marked increase in participation as a result of this joint initiative. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from freshmen — a majority of whom are taking part in the Liturgy of the Hours for the first time. Learning the prayer of the Church is connecting students with the priests and religious who pray the same texts every day, resulting in a compact yet rich moment of prayer.
While Butek has been a large part of the Liturgy of the Hours on campus for nearly four years now, eventually he will have to pass on the leading of Night Prayer to the next generation — a fact that makes the marked increase in participation that much more encouraging.
“The freshmen are playing a big part in the increased participation seen at Liturgy of the Hours,” says Butek. “They have made it a part of their life on campus, and it gives us seniors hope that they will continue passing this on to subsequent classes — something that would be a wonderful benefit to Christendom’s vibrant campus culture.”
Restoring all things in Christ begins with a personal relationship with Christ Himself, which participation in the Liturgy of the Hours fosters. This boost in the spiritual life on campus can only result in further good at Christendom, as it prepares students for a richer life both at the college and elsewhere as they leave to impact the world for the better, working to restore all things in Christ as lay apostles working in the many varied career fields.
Special to Christendom College by contributing author Riley Damitz ’20.