S’mores, Pope Francis, and Fellowship! Introducing Catholic Hospitality Sundays

Welcome Hospitality Sunday

For many Georgetown students, the most accessible and tangible part of their faith are worship services. Each Sunday over 1,000 worshipers including a number of undergrads, grad and professional students, faculty and staff, and local neighbors pack Dahlgren for Mass. Realizing just how busy Georgetown students are with classes, studying, athletics, and the many extracurricular clubs on campus, the Catholic Chaplaincy sought a way to engage students and meet them where they are. Instead of creating another program on a weeknight that would simply compete for students’ time, the Catholic Chaplaincy decided to bring time for fellowship, relaxation, and faith directly to them with monthly “Hospitality Sundays” following mass in Dahlgren Quad!

Spearheaded by Tori Savage, the Assistant Director for Ecumenical Christian Life, the Catholic Chaplaincy strove to engage students in creative ways that would not only make them linger in Dahlgren Quad, but interact with one another long after the recessional hymn had ended. Savage explains the rationale behind the events:

“Trays of cookies and drinks were great, but students were just grabbing a few and rushing away. I knew we needed a way to help them pause, not only so that we could engage with them, but so that they would be able to engage with one another, to actually see who was at mass with them. So we kicked off our first event with s’mores! Apparently roasting marshmallows together is a great icebreaker!”

The chaplaincy staff provided a ministry of presence, talking with students, engaging on topics ranging from schoolwork to baseball to Pope Francis, and showcasing some of our chaplaincy programs. The end of the year hospitality kept students busy with a photo booth, ice cream, cotton candy, popcorn, signing a guestbook to Pope Francis, and of course, pictures with (the cardboard cutout) Pope Francis! Each hospitality grew in size with themes such as OscarEnd of Year Hospitality Sunday Send Off Night at the Movies and Easter Candy baskets.

“My favorite hospitality event was definitely the Carnival themed one because it was a great way to celebrate the end of the year and the beginning of summer with friends,” said Natalia Vasquez (MSB’18). “I love Hospitality Sunday, because it’s a great way to make new friends and build a stronger community among all churchgoers!”

Planning for next year’s Hospitality Sundays is already in the works. “We have established a strong foundational community which will allow for growth and depth in our conversations,” says Savage. “Stay tuned next year for our small group discussions happening after Hospitality!” Join us after mass on September 13th for Welcome Back Sunday! And don’t worry: there will be s’mores!

Brian Lewin, Worship and Liturgy Coordinator