Lindsey Bayes 21′
“How does Mass benefit me as a student? Why must I attend Mass if I’m not Catholic?” Not everyone here at Bishop McNamara is Catholic, but we all come together once a month, as a community to be in the presence of Christ. Why is Mass important, you ask? Mr. Paul O’Brien, theology teacher said, “It’s crucial to our Catholic identity. If the central prayer at action is not a part of what we are doing here, then what are we doing here?” This perfectly summed up the reasons for everyone’s attendance and participation at Mass. We go to a Catholic school. Why are we here if we are not willing to participate in Catholic practices? Whether a student is Catholic, Christian, Muslim, or non-Christian, they may benefit from Mass in some way. Anastazio Caballero ‘21, said, “It opens our eyes to a different point of view and a different style of our faith.” This is another great reason behind the required attendance at Mass. Some students do not attend Mass to be in the presence of Christ, but instead, to witness a different style of prayer.
When asked, several faculty members stated that the point of Mass is to bring everyone together as a community to pray, but if students who feel uncomfortable in Mass are required to attend, how are we building community? Most students have shown their support in the required attendance of Mass, but there are some who do not feel comfortable in Mass because of their different religious backgrounds. It could be a lack of understanding, a commitment to their own personal faith, or the feeling of being an outsider. What if we could all come together to pray in a nondenominational way? Mr. Brower, Dean of Students stated, “I would like to see more opportunities for us to have an ecumenical prayer.” If one educator is open to this idea, perhaps there are more. Imagine a peaceful place where we could all express our own individual religious beliefs. Not everyone has a religious identity, but we all may benefit from religious expression.
There are so many wonderful opportunities here at Bishop McNamara, you might overlook the fact that Mass is a requirement. Especially, if you are not familiar with the Catholic faith. Everyone must acknowledge that Mass is required and it is a safe place where you may find family, pray with friends, and build your relationships with God.