On Sunday, Sept. 11, the sun set with fireflies glowing, cicadas chirping, and soft piano music playing in the background. The Marian Grotto on the Newman University campus was transformed into a place of worship when Campus Ministries teamed up with Wichita Adore Ministries to celebrate an “Outdoor Adoration” event immediately following the 7 p.m. Mass.
All attendees of the Mass were invited to participate in the Sacrament of Adoration, the Catholic practice where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for all to be present with, pray to, and adore.
Father John Fogliasso, Newman chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, led the procession to the Marian Grotto, which is located directly outside Sacred Heart Hall. He reverently carried the Monstrance, the decorative vessel which contains the Blessed Sacrament, to the candle-covered altar that was placed in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Accompanied by five altar servers, Fr. Fogliasso kneeled before the Blessed Sacrament and said that confessions would be heard throughout the Adoration ceremony for those who would like.
For one hour, the outdoor area was filled with students, friends, and their families who sang to worship music as it played and prayed in reverent silence when it did not.
Sophomore Khoi Nguyen said that, while she will be busy with exams this week, “Adoration is a good way to slow down and take a little break. My family is going through a difficult time at the moment, and Adoration tonight gave me the reminder to give all my worries to God, and to trust in Him.” With Adoration comes a sense of peace, Nguyen said.
"While several Catholic Churches throughout Wichita offer Perpetual Adoration (the Blessed Sacrament being exposed 24 hours a day for seven days each week), there is something especially beautiful about having Adoration outside," junior Gabriella Rizzi said.
“Holding Adoration outdoors gives everyone an invitation to attend," she said. "It also grants you the opportunity to notice the beauty that surrounds you while you worship God in the midst of nature.”
The “Outdoor Adoration” event finished with a traditional Benediction Ceremony, a special blessing, and a prayer. As a final farewell, all who attended were invited to take part in a bonfire complete with marshmallows, s’mores, and community fellowship.