Religious services continue amid COVID-19
Sofia Rositani – Arts & Entertainment Editor
Student religious organizations, such as the Newman Society and Hillel Jewish Student Organization, have started to hold services both virtually and in person again since the university shutdown in March.
“The only room we could use, because we had more than five people, was the theater, because it could seat enough people and the chairs were already closed off so there was social distancing already there,” said Chaplain James Furlong.
The priest wears his mask when giving the eucharist to students at Mass, and has stopped giving it to them by mouth, Furlong said. Instead, they are hand out the eucharist and those in attendance are able to eat it once they are socially distanced from the priest.
They usually get 12 to 15 students a week, but most students are commuters this semester due to COVID-19, according Furlong. “[It] isn’t too big of a number, but look at what Jesus did with 12. So that’s how we look at it, we are small in number but strong in spirit,” said Furlong.
The Hillel Jewish Student Organization is meeting at the Remembrance Garden to do their weekly Shabbat service every Friday, said Taylor Lubin, treasurer of Hillel.
eek. We leave the bad things that happen in our past and we like to say it’s a new beginning because Saturday is our day of rest,” said Lubin. Lubin said they had about three to four people join online, with about seven people in-person.
During Shabbat, Lubin said they include the students joining virtually by talking to them or asking them to read a prayer. They also have their Shabbat dinner together via Microsoft Teams, which is the platform students use to attend the event virtually.
Lubin joined Hillel recently because she said how she wanted to be more involved her religion.
“Last year they didn’t have an eboard because our Rabbi, Rabbi Barbara, just joined so there was not a full e-Board. So this year we are really trying to make it where we celebrate holidays with everyone,” said Lubin.
“About 68 percent of incoming college students said they attended a religious service in the last year, an all-time low in the history of the survey, and down more 20 percentage points from the peak. In contrast with the fraction of Nones, this curve is on trend, with no sign of slowing down,” According to Allen Downey, a professor at Olin College.Psychology major, Julian Serrano, a junior is a part of the pagan religion but attends the Catholic Masses the Newman Society puts on.
“The people here are fun; they give me a lot of guidance especially. We are very inclusive too you don’t have to worry about any discrimination or anything like that and we have a lot of fun,” said Serrano. “I am always learning something new about Christianity and Catholic people and what they believe in, more specifically they believe in Jesus Christ and the power of God.”