Holy cross

Holy Cross High School offers weekly worship to its students

Father William P. Burks, chaplain of Holy Cross High School, spoke to students about Eucharistic worship on November 3 in the school chapel. The school now offers weekly worship. (Recording photo by Allison Nichols, Recording Intern, Holy Cross High School)

Father William P. Burks, Chaplain of Holy Cross High School, hopes the school’s new weekly Eucharistic Worship offering will help students find some calm and balance in their lives.

The entire Holy Cross student body participated in worship on November 3 in a one-day event that kicked off the school’s new offering.

For many students, this was their first experience of worshiping the Holy Eucharist, said Father Burks. “In today’s world of cell phones and instant messages, no one is really silent. It’s so loud, ”he said.

Father Burks led the one-day worship event, teaching students the history of worship and scripture reading.

“I urged them to listen to the God who is in their hearts,” he said.

Father Burks said he hoped the weekly worship would help students “understand the Eucharist and the real presence of Christ.”

He also hopes that time spent in worship will help create a balance between service and time for contemplative prayer.

“Many believe that holiness is found in service, charity and awareness,” he noted. “When it comes to the stillness of their own hearts, they don’t have that sense. We must know holiness from silent and contemplative prayer. We don’t have a balance. This is what I hope our work at Holy Cross will do.

Students from Holy Cross High School participated in Eucharistic worship in the school chapel on November 3. Father William P. Burks, school chaplain, led a one-day event that kicked off Holy Cross’s new weekly worship offering. (Recording photo by Allison Nichols, Recording Intern, Holy Cross High School)

Kathy Holderbaum, professor of theology at Holy Cross, helped coordinate the day of worship. Students attended worship during their theological period during the one-day event. Holderbaum said she was happy with the response from the students.

“Many had never experienced it but loved the tranquility. They felt calm the rest of the day. Some felt they had drawn near to Christ. Many loved being able to take an hour to sit in silence and talk to God, ”Holderbaum said.

She said the idea for the weekly worship on the school campus came from a student – a senior named Jackson Schablik.

“Jack always wanted this to happen. He imagined it and pushed it forward, ”Holderbaum said. “I’m so proud of him.”

Schablik said he hoped attending worship would help his classmates come closer to Christ. He said in a recent interview that he started to think about the worship opportunity on the Holy Cross campus when he noticed that many of his classmates were dropped off at school early on Wednesday. – a day when school starts late each week, closer to 9 a.m. a m

They would sit in the cafeteria and wait for classes to start, he said. “How cool would it be to offer a moment of quiet spiritual reflection?” he said he was wondering.

He spoke to school leaders, including school president Danielle Wiegandt, and “she ran with the idea,” Schablik said.

If any of his classmates are a little uncomfortable during worship, Schablik said he wants them to know everything is okay. He said his first time in worship was “a strange experience. I was a bit scared.

His advice to his classmates, and others interested in trying Eucharistic worship, is simple:

“Try to be open to this and (open to) why it matters,” he said. “It can be the most incredible experience ever or it will be the most boring 30 minutes of their lives.”

He hopes it will be an “incredible and profound experience,” he said, and that he and his classmates “will grow in the love of Christ.”

The worship will take place on Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., Holderbaum said.

She hopes this will help students “grow in their relationship with Jesus and get to know him… and have a life of deep prayer. If this starts, then my prayers will be answered, ”she said. “I can’t wait to see the participation. The invitation is there, but they have to take the initiative.