I slipped through the stained glass doorway into the small chapel, just a couple minutes before 11 a.m. I thought, for a moment, that I was late. The six friendly faces that greeted me represented a variety of places and roles on campus: Faculty, Administration, Finance, the Principal’s Office.
Another face popped in—from the Advancement team. Then a Languages teacher. Then another—a coach. Then, one minute past the hour, our presider arrived, himself a little surprised by the full house of 11 in the Companions Chapel across from the Admissions Office.
He smiled, donned his vestments, and confirmed the day’s readings.
Then Mass began.
It’s easy to take for granted the gift of these little Masses. During the school year, there’s one almost every day. In the summer, the Jesuits usually offer a few each week.
You never quite know who’s going to be in there with you, or even if there is going to be anyone in there besides you and the priest. There’s 12 chairs (perhaps symbolic), but rarely are they all taken.
It’s a simple setting, a quick liturgy, and a personal service.
The homily is often an interesting lesson on whichever saint is having their feast, or a reference to events happening around campus, and the petitions are centered on the needs of the Saint Ignatius community.
At the Eucharistic prayer, everyone gathers around the small altar. The consecrated hosts are passed from person to person. If you were to imagine what early Christian celebrations of the Mass were like, you might picture something similar to this.
As quickly and cheerily as it begins, the Mass ends. Attendees dip out through the doors emblazoned with the motto: For the Greater Glory of God.
Today before I left, I stopped for a second and was reminded that what happened in this little space was sacred—and also the source of everything we have and work toward.
Then I walked down the hallway, past the offices of people with whom I had just broken bread.
How great it is to work at a place where this is a thing that happens.