The Mass of the Holy Spirit, which was held at our beautiful grotto, was a perfect way to start the year remembering what is most important. I truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit among our community celebrating together around the Eucharistic table. The sincerity of the prayers and the fellowship expressed at this Mass demonstrate the way in which the Loras community is sustained and nourished by our shared Catholic faith.” Rachel Fitzgibbon (‘15) Des Moines, Iowa
God creates and sustains us with abundant, life-giving love. Through the incarnation of Jesus, the Word-made-flesh, God impresses divine presence in sacrament and sign and stirs our sense of mystery. Wonder is transformed into desire poetically expressed by Loras student Peter Benson, who prays to God to “hurl” him “into a snowflake,” “into a quiet field,” “into steel springs and ebony,” for “the places of peace I find, have you within them.” We are especially attuned to the dignity and spirituality of each person in whom the image of God uniquely dwells.
- Eucharist is central in the sacramental life of the Loras community, with daily and dynamic Sunday night liturgies. Other festive celebrations include the Mass of the Holy Spirit, St. Joseph Heritage Day Mass, and the Initiation Mass in Christ the King Chapel on Divine Mercy Sunday, when prepared Loras students and staff receive Easter sacraments.
- Weekday Eucharistic adoration takes place in St. Joseph’s Chapel, and Holy Hours are dedicated to student-athletes, priests’ jubilees, and prayer for vocations.
- The Grotto devoted to Mary located on central campus inspires prayer and petition (not only before tests!), and is the fair weather site for Wednesday night Mass. Other devotional sites include the Peace Pole, the Rosary Garden created by the student Daughters of Isabella organization, athletic areas, and campus residences where students gather for communal prayer.
- Among sacred music concerts, Mysteries of Christmas is a crowning event produced by Loras Choirs, Wind Ensemble, and the Spiritual Life division. Mysteries unites Loras and community members (including television audiences) through music, readings, and common prayer and draws them into Advent anticipating the birth of Christ.
- The Breaking the Silence student organization heightens awareness and advocacy for persons afflicted with mental illness, and for those who are victims of ostracism, violence, and bullying. Through education, outreach, and sponsorship of prayer vigils on central campus, the dignity of all persons is affirmed.
- Christ the King Chapel, which was dedicated in 1947 to all military chaplains and service personnel, houses a special plaque and religious articles remembering the ultimate sacrifice made by Father Aloysius Schmitt, who was the first chaplain to perish in World War II in the attack on the U.S.S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor.
- Stewardship of environmental resources is promoted by the Loras Sustainability Green Team. The team tracks energy and resource efficiency in campus buildings; they also advocate Fair Trade practices and purchasing within the College to foster what recent popes have identified as a genuinely “human ecology.”
- Interfaith dialogue, worship, and service takes place at various moments, including weekly reflection upon the Qur’an, the Festival of Lights, and the Children of Abraham series among tri-state area Jews, Muslims, and Christians.
- Students “come away for a while” on Antioch, Journey, and Spiritual Impact retreats, during Lenten reflection days and missions, and during the St. Pius X Seminary fall and spring retreats.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High, to proclaim your love at daybreak, your faithfulness in the night, With the ten–stringed harp, With melody upon the lyre. For you make me jubilant, Lord, by your deeds; At the works of your hands I shout for joy.” Psalm 92:1-5