At one of the first Masses I attended at Ave Maria, my fellow students and I received a crucial acronym to live by: MARC. This stands for Mass, Adoration, Rosary, and Confession. So for my third installment of Emma’s Guide for Incoming Freshmen, I will be focusing on how to be a part of Ave’s excellent Catholic identity.
One thing that I absolutely love about Ave is that there is such an overwhelming sense of love and pride for our Catholic faith. It is evident in the students, the professors, and just about everyone on campus. The first component of MARC is Mass. Mass is offered not only on Sunday, but also several times during each day, including several Latin Masses. Noon Mass during the week is very popular among students, before lunch and in between classes. When you walk into the Oratory, you’ll see backpacks piled up and rows of longboards leaning up against the walls. My roommates and I will often go to daily Mass at 5, after our classes are done for the day. Not only are we so lucky to have Mass at the Oratory not even 5 minutes from the dorms, but also I think it’s awesome that so many students go and it’s “cool” to go to Mass with your friends.
Adoration is the next key part of MARC, and probably my favorite. We have an Adoration chapel next to the library and each dorm has its own chapel. I will often stop by in the Adoration chapel in between classes or when I have some down time. I love having a chapel in my dorm, and just being able to go up to the 4th floor and be with Jesus. My friends and I did a novena together up in the chapel, households gather there for prayer, and it is my go-to place for stress-relief. When I get stuck in the middle of writing an essay or if I am ever feeling stressed about anything, I grab my rosary and head upstairs to the chapel. Before a big test, I’ll get up early in the morning and run up to the chapel before I head over to breakfast and class.
The third component of MARC is Rosary. Since Ave is named for Mary, the rosary is very important to us. Every night we have a Rosary Walk, where students meet to walk around campus while praying the rosary together. This is something very special and unique about Ave.
The final part of MARC is confession. Confession is offered throughout the year at various times. As St. Isidore of Seville says, “confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin, all hope consists in confession; in confession there is a chance for mercy.” I will admit, confession is definitely something that I have to convince myself to get up and go to, but I always feel so much better afterwards.
One of the best pieces of advice that I can offer to all incoming Catholic freshmen, is to make sure you keep up with MARC: Mass, Adoration, Rosary, and Confession. My mom would periodically text me throughout the year asking if I’ve remembered MARC, and would remind me to take a deep breath and go the chapel when I’m feeling stressed. So, now as a pseudo big sister, I suggest to you to not forget about MARC. Grab some friends and head to Daily Mass before lunch, go to the Adoration Chapel when you feel overwhelmed, and don’t forget about the rosary and confession. Enjoy the wonderful Catholic environment at Ave and all it has to offer!