The entire student body, staff and faculty gathered in the Cahill gymnasium for an Ash Wednesday service, but it felt much more intimate than a large, drafty gym.

Br. Jhobany Orduz gives ashes to a student.

That’s because students and staff in Campus Ministry, including Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV, placed the altar in the middle of the gym, rather than in the front, with students and teachers surrounding it.

“It felt like we were speaking to those gathered around a family room instead of how a stuffy ceremony can be, at times.” said Mr. Kurt Paprocki, a Viatorian associate and Spanish teacher in the building who served as presider. “Of course, it was an important celebration to begin the Lenten season, but I think our students caught on to the intimate and comfortable setting.”

The service was a collaborative effort between students and Viatorians alike. Br. Jhobany and Associate Cathy Abrahamian served as adult leaders, while Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, read the gospel and Br. Jhobany blessed the ashes. But members of the Campus Ministry core team participated as well as those students who had attended the Viatorian Youth Congress last summer.

Br. Peter Lamick reads the gospel.

The theme of the service was to, “See our life with faith and offer to God our personal sacrifices.”

“We gather here today to celebrate our faith as a Viatorian community,” Mr. Paprocki said at the outset. “The following 40 days present a good opportunity to perform deeds of good for others, and to connect our lives with the Lord who created us.”

“We all know that our lives move so fast and our times for reflection and discernment become short and even nonexistent,” he added. “Let’s pause for a moment and take a look into our hearts, our behaviors, and the world around us.”

Viatorians and students surround the altar to pray the Our Father.

Mr. Paprocki is one of 11 Viatorians working at Saint Viator presently. They include: Associate Cathy Abrahamian, Fr. Charlie Bolser, Associate Brigette Brankin, Associate Brian Hansen, Associate Jason Kuffel, Br. Peter Lamick, Fr. Dan Lydon, Br. Jhobany Orduz, Associate Kurt Paprocki, Associate Ann Perez and Br. Rob Robertson.

Collectively, they have committed themselves to the Viatorian mission, which reads in part, to  “minister to and with young people in the Church, and are committed to their faith development and active membership in their respective faith communities.”