Specs in the City: What you miss when you overlook St. Ignatius

I tried to go to the 9 p.m. mass at the Seattle U chapel of St. Ignatius this past Sunday and when I walked in, it was over.

Frantically, I glanced at my watch, wondering if I had spaced out and left my house an hour later than I meant to. But the time was only now hitting just after 9 p.m. I went through dates quickly in my head thinking perhaps I had dropped the ball on daylight savings–again.

When I ruled that out, I had to face the realization that I had gotten it wrong.

A few minutes later I was told that the student mass time has changed to 8 p.m on Sunday evenings.

I am kindly telling you all this so you don’t make the same mistake I did and show up as everyone is singing the final song.

But I am also telling you this because I think our school has a truly beautiful Sunday service, and I don’t want it to be overlooked.
Whether you don’t go to mass because you can never get the time right or because you aren’t particularly drawn to Catholicism, spirituality, prayer or all of the above, I want to say that I feel ya.

Though I identify as Catholic, I don’t always want to.

I don’t always agree with things I’m told I should agree with.

I take great issue with the child sex abuse scandals that have been happening with the Catholic community. And I often don’t feel that I get much from listening to a 30-minute long homily.

It is just as difficult for me to sit through an hour-long service as a senior in college as it was when I was eight, except now there is more of a stigma toward laying down on the pew and taking a nap.

I have often told myself that my time is better spent doing homework or going swing dancing.

But the truth is, when I do attend mass, however infrequently, I’m usually glad that I do.

The chapel is a beautiful space. Whether you identify as Catholic, or not, it is a space to think and have time that is focused and quiet.

In a college life, that kind of time can be rare.

The Campus Ministry team works really hard to create a space that is worth coming to. This year, they have started making their own bread to use for the Eucharist at communion time during the mass.

Being at Seattle U is often called a unique experience because we are a Jesuit institution. But that doesn’t just mean we have small class sizes and really good taco Tuesdays. I have come to learn that it also means that we have access to a space for prayer, reflection, thought, relaxation, meditation, and community.

Regardless of where you stand on religion, we could all use a space like that.

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