‘You Are Called to Finish Strong’ End-of-Semester Service Provides Spiritual, Emotional Fortification for All Students

Finish strong end of semester(L-R) : Veronica Miles, Chemistry major, sophomore; Andrew Andre, Biology Pre-Med, freshman; Father Etido Jerome, Assistant Director of the Campus Ministry and University Chaplain; Cheyenne DeShield, Biology Pre-Med major, sophomore; Jade Crutch, Political Science/French major, senior

For many Xavier students, this is the time to turn to multiple resources for physical stamina and academic redemption as they prepare for final exams. For those students in need of some spiritual fortification, the Office of Campus Ministry hosts a “finals prayer service,” which turns out to be the best-attended event each semester, according to Father Etido Jerome, assistant director of Campus Ministry and the university chaplain.

This semester’s service is April 28 at 8 p.m. in St. Katharine Drexel Chapel. Lisa McClain, pastoral associate for campus ministry, said the non-denominational prayer service is open to all students of all faiths. There will be dancing, singing, food, door prizes, scripture reading, an inspirational talk by English associate professor Dr. Bonnie Noonan—and prayers.

“The event is always inspirational, uplifting and helps students tremendously in preparing spiritually for the final examinations,” Father Jerome said.

Kristia Abernathy, a graduating biology/pre-med senior, sings in the choir for the service. She said the extra prayers give students their “last ‘you can do it.’”
The services tend to attract not just regulars like Abernathy but students who typically would not attend weekly Masses in the chapel.“The students who usually attend are students that haven’t been seen all year, who are desperate and need encouragement,” McClain said.

A group of students are putting together the service’s activities. The leaders include Jade Crutch, senior, political science/French major; Veronica Miles, sophomore, chemistry major; Cheyenne DeShield, sophomore, biology pre-med major; and Andrew Andre, freshman, biology/pre-med major.

Veronica Miles, who will sing a solo, said the service will have more student performances than previous events.

English assistant professor Dr. Bonnie Noonan said she will speak on the theme, “God Will Provide.” She hopes that by sharing her own experiences with having faith in God, that she will help students to also reflect on their own lives, find meaning in it and ultimately hope.

“[The service] provides a chance for students to think about the finals experience at Xavier in a larger context than just passing or failing,” Noonan said. “The services show that we care about the entirety of students’ lives.”

More information about the finals prayer service is available by calling 504.520.7593 or at the Office of Campus Ministry, administration building, suite 101.

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