It’s More Than Football

You could visit the campus of Notre Dame and completely miss its football relevance. The University’s purposeful emphasis on academics, residence life, and the Christian spirit could easily distract you from the legends who brought glory to its name and the current success with the football program. This is not to say that football is not important on campus by any means. Just ask our students, staff and faculty, and the Notre Dame community.

A few months ago I was asked by a student to participate in a lucernarium in one of the residence halls. I had to ask, “What is a lucernarium.” I learned  it essentially is a candle-lit reflection on the daily Bible reading. I admit through this post that I am often not the person who volunteers to lead prayer at the dinner table or in such group settings. Where I’ve grown and matured through my spiritual life, I have become more comfortable with this role. Hesitantly, I said yes the lead the reflection at the lucernarium.

The lucernarium was held on student time, 10:00 PM on a Monday night. Fortunately, I have meetings on campus that are just ending at that time where I could make this service. This would be the one week where my Monday night meetings were canceled which allowed to me to focus only on the lucernarium.

Still not knowing what to expect I showed up, met with the student planners and the service began. There were maybe 12-15 students in attendance. We sang the gospel, we prayed, I led the reflection, we sang the gospel again, we greeted one another with hugs and handshakes, and the service was over.
I can’t help but appreciate the importance of the weekly lucernarium this hall conducts. The incorporation of faith in residence life is an integral component to the whole development of the students.

Where I hesitated to participate in this event initially due to my lack of knowledge about this form of service, I can only think of the many areas I have grown as a professional from challenging myself to try something different. Where I now have shared with our students through mass, prayer and rosaries, lucernarium, and community service, I am excited to see student initiative with regard to these roles. As student affairs professionals we can only hope our students will continue to develop and teach even after they leave the University.

Joshua Wilson

Student Affairs - the First Years

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