This past Wednesday morning, after rolling out of bed at the ungodly hour of 10:00 a.m., and subjecting my roommate to the daily Mucinex commercial-like sounds of my awakening, I was greeted by an email notification from Professor Jamie Fazio. Fazio’s meticulously composed weekly e-bulletin had arrived early this week, and brought with it news of the night’s Ash Wednesday services. After glossing over the first paragraph with as much enthusiasm as a narcoleptic night shift worker, my tired eyes settled on the ecumenical mass service at 7:00 a.m. I did a quick mental scan through my unsophisticated vocabulary, and came up empty-handed. So I Googled the term “ecumenical,” and found that it meant “representing a number of different Christian churches.” I resolved to attend the mass and fulfill my ash Wednesday religious duties.
Subsequently, I found myself standing outside of the chapel in a button up shirt and slacks at 7:00 like a good Catholic boy. The mass did not disappoint. Joining Fazio on the Alter was Nadia Mullen, Nazareth’s Protestant chaplain. Together, they managed to create rare kind of cohesion between the Catholic and Protestant students. Granted, there were the downcast faces of the students who would rather be watching the latest episode of Law and Order: SVU than be at church. However, overall, I felt as though the attendees were content throughout the mass. The mass had far more people in attendance than did the Catholic masses I had attended to date; I would guess that the Protestant churchgoers noticed a similar trend. That, combined with the cumulative enthusiasm and humor of the two chaplains, made this certainly one of the better Ash Wednesdays of my life. So, if you missed it this year, be sure to be in attendance next year, it’s a sincerely nice experience for Christians of any denomination.