Bringing Christ to Campus: New Adoration Chapel at the University of Louisville Emblematic of Dominican Approach to Campus Ministry

University of Louisville students attend Mass before the consecration of a new Adoration Chapel on campus. Photo by Ruby Thomas

 

Bringing Christ to Campus: New Adoration Chapel at this University of Louisville Emblematic of Dominican Approach to Campus Ministry
By BlackFriars Staff

The University of Louisville’s Dominican-run Catholic Campus Ministry brought Christ to the secular campus by constructing a Blessed Sacrament Chapel in a former office of the campus Interfaith Center.

According to Catholic Chaplain Fr. John Baptist Hoang, O.P., the chapel’s construction, initiated by his predecessor, Fr. John Paul Kern, O.P., is a fitting contribution to the nationwide Eucharist Revival.

“This chapel is in line with what the universal Church desires: to make the Blessed Sacrament present, available, and known to people.”

Following the chapel’s consecration by Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre on October 18, University of Louisville students have begun visiting the Lord in prayer in the midst of their busy school days.

 

The presence of Christ in the Eucharist is central to all Dominican campus ministry efforts. Fr. Frassati Davis, O.P., a member of the Dominican chaplaincy at the Catholic University of America, celebrates Benediction at a freshman retreat. Photo by Danielle Schmitz

 

“It’s a place for students to come and rest, not just when they’re bombarded with studies, but by the culture,” says Fr. John Baptist, who notes that, through the presence of the Lord in the tabernacle, “students are able to encounter what they believe.”

The location of the chapel in the Interfaith Center makes it a witness to the wider campus community. “We’re in the Bible Belt. The Catholic students here get even more questions about their faith from their Baptist friends than they do from the secular culture. This chapel provides a witness to the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence,” Fr. John Baptist says.

“In his homily at Mass before the consecration, the Archbishop spoke about the power of mystery. As a Catholic, all you can do sometimes is point to the mystery. I think of St. Thomas Aquinas, how his love for the Real Presence overflowed into the Eucharistic hymns he wrote. There are plenty of good arguments for the Real Presence, but the physical, real encounter with Christ in the Eucharist makes all the difference.”

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