The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Bishop visits UMW for blessing of building and procession

2 min read

Photo by Alexandra Cooper


Staff Writer

Every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. the Catholic Campus Ministry offers mass and a free community dinner called “Supper Social” that accompanies a talk on subjects relating to the Catholic faith. This past Supper Social on September 7, however, was different. We had subs, fresh fruit and ice cream like usual, but afterwards, Bishop Michael Burbidge, the Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington in Virginia and Father Vaccaro, the Chaplain of the Saint John Bosco Center, gathered with many UMW students and members of the Fredericksburg community in celebration, thanksgiving, adoration, and to witness the blessing of the newly renamed center for all of the students at UMW.

If one walked down College Avenue last year they would without a doubt have passed the Catholic Campus Ministry building, located across from the University Center. However, this year the building was renamed the “St. John Bosco Center.” “Having a great admiration of Saint John Bosco and the wonderful ways and methods he employed in educating young people both in the ways of virtue and holiness,” Father Christopher Vaccaro said. “I hoped by naming the building after him that we could model our work upon those same successful methods. In addition, it was easier to call the building by a proper name.”

Photo by Alexandra Cooper

Following the blessing of the St. John Bosco Center, the 3rd Annual Eucharistic Procession through campus occurred. A breathtaking and genuinely beautiful experience, this is the favorite UMW event of many members of the Catholic Campus Ministry.

“The center of the Catholic faith is the Eucharist,” Vaccaro said. “We believe the Eucharist is Jesus Christ, and knowing that the university could benefit from peace and healing, the Catholic community will bring the Eucharist to campus so students can pray before the Lord Jesus.” Vaccaro continued to say that everyone who attends prays for all the students, faculty and staff, and asks that God bestow His grace in abundance this year.

Sophomore Joseph Haythorne described the Eucharistic Procession by stating, “It’s God asserting the fact that He can go where He wants anytime.”

The Blessed Sacrament, which Catholics believe to be the true presence of Jesus Christ in the form of a consecrated host, was present on Ball Circle all throughout the night. This is called adoration. We sit before the Lord in prayer and adore Him and His goodness. At least five students stayed with the Eucharist in hour shifts. My shift was from three to four in the morning. It was a very beautiful and peaceful hour, sitting before our Lord. Then at 8:30 a.m. adoration ended with Benediction. Benediction is the series of closing prayers that ends the exposure of Jesus.

The St. John Bosco Center offers adoration in their chapel every Friday following the 12:15 p.m. mass until 5 p.m. Anyone can come for any length of time. All are welcomed at the St. John Bosco Center.

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