Christendom’s Christ the King Chapel serves as the locus of the spiritual life and growth of the Christendom community. As in any church, the chapel requires the aid of the laity to keep the church building clean and well-ordered, as well as to assist in serving the Liturgy. At Christendom, these volunteers are made up of students, who work closely with the Chaplaincy to ensure that the chapel provides a peaceful place for solitary reflection and a center for communal worship.

Fr. Marcus Pollard, the head chaplain, assisted by new associate chaplain Fr. Tom Szczepanczyk, offer two Masses every day, as well as Holy Hours Monday through Thursday. Each of these liturgies calls for young men to serve at the altar. At the beginning of each academic year, new servers are recruited and trained by veteran servers, with the option of learning the Extraordinary Form as well — which is celebrated twice a week on campus.

This gives students a great opportunity to grow in their spiritual life while serving the college community. Any student is welcome to volunteer to join the lectoring team as well, which also trains students at the beginning of each academic year.

Students volunteer as altar servers, lectors, and as members of Holy Rood — cleaning the Chapel on a weekly basis.

Behind the scenes, the Holy Rood Guild, run by senior Bailey Young, keeps the chapel looking spotless. Each week, a group of women comes together to give the chapel a “deep clean” before the Sunday celebrations. Sweeping, mopping, dusting, polishing – these women do it all.

“The work of Holy Rood is important because through our work, we serve both the Lord and the Christendom community,” says Young. “It is an opportunity to be in the Lord’s presence and to serve the college community as a whole. It is a beautiful combination of prayer and work.”

Christendom is fortunate to have so many students visit the chapel on a daily basis, but this means that the cleaning has to keep pace as well. Teams of two women volunteer for weekdays to sweep, reorganize hymnals, and polish the glass doors. These volunteers ensure that the chapel is a beautiful place to worship God.

Additionally, fresh flower arrangements are created every week by a team of volunteers. This more creative work allows the women of the college to contribute to the beauty of the celebration, inviting the congregation to remember Jesus’ True Presence.

The volunteer opportunities with the Chaplaincy allow students to give back to the community in many ways. Whether serving in front of the Christendom community for Sunday Mass or sweeping the chapel on a quiet Wednesday afternoon, students can find ways to give their time and talent back to God.

“Cleaning the chapel has strengthened my relationship with Our Lady,” says Young. “Through Holy Rood, I have an opportunity to clean the Lord’s House, which is the same thing that Mary did in their home in Nazareth. When I clean, I either pray the rosary or just have a conversation with Our Lady.  It is a time to meditate on what her daily life was like, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.”

Growing deeper in the spiritual life of the community, the chances to work with the Chaplaincy prepare students for a life of service as they are formed as lay apostles, ready to impact the culture and truly “restore all things in Christ.”

Special to Christendom College by contributing author Riley Damitz ’20.

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