Another year, another Lent. On Tuesday, second floor DeNaples was decorated with balloons, people were given beads, and senior Bill Giuliano provided music on his saxophone for all to enjoy. As they have done in recent years, Campus Ministries hosted a Fat Tuesday celebration to kick off the Lenten season. This year, students who attended the celebration likely saw two dancing t-rexes inviting students to join in the festivities.
In addition to the dancing dinosaurs, Campus Ministries also had “king” cupcakes. Any student who found a baby inside of their cupcake won a prize. This concept arose from the three wise men, or kings, being the first to discover the baby Jesus. One student who found a baby Jesus in her cupcake admitted that she was initially confused by exactly what was happening when people were talking about finding a baby in a cupcake.
“I didn’t think too much of it, I just liked cupcakes. So I grabbed one and I was nonchalantly eating it as I was preparing to go to work, and then I found the baby and everyone started cheering and clapping and I was confused but it was exciting because I won [something],” sophomore Danielle Abril said.
Abril said the prize was a $25 gift card and she chose the gift card for Starbucks.
Campus Ministries also had tables set up that coincided with the three main tenants of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The prayer table contained free reading materials meant to help guide students through Lent and advertised for last-minute sign ups to the Busy Student retreat. The other two set-ups provided Lent calendars with suggestions of things to do each day throughout the season and gave students the opportunity to color a card designed as a petition to their state senator in support of immigrants.
Students at the event were also preparing for Lent officially beginning today. Many students contemplated what they were going to give up for Lent, a common practice that keeps a person actively fasting from something during the 40 days. Some students already knew what they were going to give up, including Abril, who said she was going to give up soda for lent. Other students had different plans.
“I give up meat the entire 40 days of Lent,” junior Germaine Mendonca shared.
Many students will have a new experience this Lent by participating in the Busy Student Retreat, a different type of retreat that takes place over the entire 40 days of Lent. The design of the retreat is to help students be actively doing something during Lent, rather than having their good intentions fall to the wayside after a few weeks, as many students experience most years.
As Lent begins again this year, Campus Ministries reminds students that these next 40 days serve as an opportunity to become stronger and more steadfast in their faith.