PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD
Another year, another successful Midnight Mass. This secial Advent/pre-Christmas Mass for the BGSU community began nearly 20 years ago as a way to prepare the community’s hearts before the students and faculty returned home for the winter between semesters. When the Mass grew, attracting both Catholic and non Catholics alike, it was moved to the BGSU Ballroom. Eventually the event was held at an earlier time to allow an easier set up and tear down of the event. The name was changed to Ballroom Mass, and was yet another tradition of St. Tom’s that students and parishioners alike knew about.
Over the past few years, we realized the need for this ministry on the BGSU campus was not as strong as it had been in the past, and decided to reevaluate the need for Ballroom Mass. The idea was brought up to try a Midnight Mass again, but instead of keeping it on campus we would host it here in our sanctuary. The response was outstanding! We had a packed choir and instrumentalist group, over 150 people in attendance (both students and parishioners alike), and endless warm smiles to last the long and cold winter.
Because of such a successful first year, we had to do it again and it did not disappoint again this year. Everyone came to celebrate another wonderful Midnight Mass celebration as a faith community to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. With the lights dimmed low and a light snowfall, the Mass could not have prepared us more for the season of Advent, with Christmas now closer than we realize!
Before the Mass, students were able to also gather at the Weinandy family’s house for their annual Christmas party and feast. Everyone had a night of fun with fellowship, ugly sweaters, and a White Elephant gift exchange. Everyone stayed to enjoy themselves for the too short of time, and then headed back to celebrate the new tradition of St. Tom’s: Midnight Mass.
As our community changes, so must our ministries, but our mission to the BGSU community always stays the same and allows for new traditions and memories to be made. We at St. Tom’s will always strive to meet and desire to serve the needs of our faith community. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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