The best part
Author: Cathi Kennedy, Associate Director of MSBA-Chicago
My days at work are structured like most 8-5 office workers. I arrive at 8 (ish), I log in to my computer, I say good morning to my friends, we make a trek to the coffee machine and talk about our kids and my new dress (it has pockets!), and then I dive into my email and off I go into tasks and meetings and reports.
It’s hard to fit everything into our weeks. We get caught up in what’s right in front of us; notifications and meetings and seemingly constant emails demanding our attention. We’ve all heard about the need to set apart some down time. Find time each week (each day if possible) for ourselves. A fitness class, a walk around campus, lunch or coffee with friends.
I’ve been able to be consistent with this practice at least once a week. Tuesdays from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. are unavailable. Just before noon on Tuesday, you will find me in St. Matthew Chapel in the Stayer Center preparing for Mass. It’s the best part of my day – just me and Jesus for a few minutes before Mass.
Light the candles, find the readings, place the chalice and the paten and the purificator just so. The wine, the water, the bread. Say the prayers. Give thanks to God.
When the world shut down in 2020, I missed everything about my job – the everydayness of my routine, my friends, even the meetings that should have been emails. And I missed daily Mass.
In the fall of 2020 when students returned to campus, Mass resumed, with restrictions. I was still working from home, but jumped at the chance to come to campus once a week to help. Attendance was light, but it was wonderful to have this opportunity to worship with the faculty, staff and students. It was a small window of normalcy in an upside-down year.
Mass was the same. God never changes even when everything else in our life had. The prayers, the words of the gospel reading, the body and blood of the Eucharist. The same yesterday, today, tomorrow. Thanks be to God.
I work in the Stayer Center, so I often walk past the chapel. I’ll reset my day by stepping in for just a few moments. Being in that space, saying a prayer or two, what a blessing in the middle of my day. I often see students kneeling, praying, taking a quiet break. As the mom of a college-age child, it makes my heart happy to see students practicing their faith.
When I tell people that I work at the University of Notre Dame, I get a lot of questions. Can I get free football tickets is usually first, followed by what do I like best about working there. Well, the place is idyllic I respond, the people are truly the best, and I get to practice my faith. What more can I ask for?
Celebration of the Mass is the center of my day, my week. Serving God as a sacristan is a true blessing and honor.