The conclave to elect the new Bishop of Rome and shepherd of the universal church has began today. And word is in from the Eternal City -- no pope for you! Black smoke was seen around 2:45 (our time) rising from the Sistine Chapel, which is the signal that no candidate received the needed 2/3 majority in today's round of voting. There will be two ballots each morning, and two each afternoon, until a 2/3 majority is reached. At that point, white smoke will rise from the Sistine Chapel and Catholics world wide will be able to rejoice and say habemus papem, "We have a pope!"
Wednesday: Please join us for dinner this Wednesday night at 6:30 at the Catholic Student Center. A free, home cooked meal is offered each week. Please come as you are. After dinner, we will have a rosary making workshop. Kat Sumeracki and Jessica Keene will be teaching us to make tied knot cord rosaries. All the materials will be provided. We hope you will join us!
Thursday: We have a special opportunity this Thursday, and so a slight change of schedule. We will have Eucharistic Adoration at 6pm as usual. But at 6:45 we will leave and head over to The Point coffee house (across the street from the Cullowhee Post Office) where we will meet with students from the Wesleyan (Methodist) campus ministry at 7pm for an evening of music, prayer and faith sharing. There will be small group discussions about various faith topics. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the faith of others and to share the beauty of the Catholic faith with those who might not have been exposed to Catholic tradition. Please come join us! You can either meet us at the Catholic Student Center before 6:45 to ride over to The Point together, or just meet us at the coffee house at 7pm. (The evening should wrap up around 8:30).
Sunday: Mass at 7:30pm, as usual, with Rosary prayed 30 minutes before Mass. Just a note that this is the last Mass on campus before Spring Break. There will be no Mass offered on campus for Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday. If anyone needs rides to St. Mary's for either of those days, please use our Facebook group to find a ride, or let me know and I will help arrange a ride for you.
Wednesday: Next week we are planning something a bit different for the final Wednesday dinner of Lent (before our break). We will be gathering at the Catholic Student Center at 6:00pm (note the earlier time), where we will be joined by students from the Methodist campus ministry. We will pray an outdoors Stations of the Cross with them, beginning at our chapel and ending up at their student center where they will then host us for dinner. Another great ecumenical opportunity, and a wonderful way to share a Catholic devotion with many students who will have never had that experience. Please plan on coming a half an hour early next Wednesday so that you can join us in prayer.
We are taking sign-ups for our Spring Retreat, April 12-14, at the Lake House! This year's theme is "Forgiveness" and the cost is only $20. Sign up sheet is on the fridge here at the Catholic Student Center. We'd love for you to go! There will be peer talks, prayer, games, canoeing, s'mores, opportunity for Confession, and to grow in faith and fellowship. For more information please see me or a peer minister.
And speaking of peer ministry.... have you wondered what the Peer Ministry Council is all about? Or who is even on it? I put up a blog post this week explaining this aspect of our campus ministry. If you missed it, take a look:
Please continue to pray for the cardinals and the Church this week, that the Holy Spirit guide them in selecting the best pastor for the Catholic Church. By this time next week we should have a new Holy Father. I'll post information to our Facebook group as it is available. It is an exciting time in the Church!