Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Visit to The University of DePaul Church

The Kaio Community is an ecumenical, intentional-faith community. We try to share in one anothers different traditions to learn about our peers, to appreciate the larger Church and to grow. Sometimes that is intentional; we actually plan an outing together to a church. Sometimes it is informal as we share our faith life while sitting around the table. Sometimes it is coincidental.

In the beginning of the Kaio year Josh rushed in one Sunday night and announced he was going to DePaul University for Mass. Turns out they are the only church around with a 9:00 PM Mass on Sunday. We all decide to join him.

What we walked in one was fantastic. Now the church itself is glorious. The colors are bright, the vaulted ceiling demand that you look up. The shrines are wonderful and the windows sparkle. This is a destination church. This should come as no surprise. DePaul University is the largest Catholic University in the United States. It is often rated one of the happiest campuses in the country. With 25,000 students located in one of the most exciting areas of Chicago you would expect the church to be something special.

Outside of DePaul University Church

However, when we stepped inside the church we were blown away. It was the Convocation Mass celebrating the beginning of the academic year. The church was full of smiling, laughing students. The choir was loud and the music grand. The priest was motivating. It was a fun place to be.

DePaul University Church II

The service incorporated the entire university community. That meant students, staff and faculty. There was an emphasis on respecting and celebrating diversity, this was an inclusive celebration fitting a school with international ties and a commitment to social justice.

DePaul University Church

I found myself comparing the Convocation to our service. Ours also aims at including the entire university community. Our also includes beautiful music and a moving service. However ours is typically held in our gymnasium. Now I know God is everywhere. That does not mean my butt wants to be everywhere and it certainly does not want to be on bleachers during Mass. That aside, the acoustics are horrible up in the bleachers. Having said that, we have a drop dead gorgeous campus and the Convocation is one of my favorite times of the year. Still, I was a little bit jealous!

The music, the choir and orchestra sounded as loud and beautiful as the Midnight Mass at our Cathedral. The candles, lighting and again, all the smiles told us we were in a special place during a special time. So, DePaul University is rated one of the happiest campuses in the country? I believe it.

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