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Day of the Dead enlivens Newman Center community connections


Source: Collin Smith. Pictured above is a sugar skull, a traditional offering found on a Day of the Dead ofrenda.

By Hannah Kennedy
Staff Writer

The Georgetown College Newman Center has gained plenty of momentum throughout the semester.

The organization centers on encouraging Catholic students in their faith, putting their faith into action and establishing relationships between students and community partners with likeminded beliefs and goals.

The Newman Center hosts mass services every Sunday which are open to all.

This past weekend, the Newman Center’s mass was given a colorful character, enriched by a the observance of a traditional Mexican celebration of El Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

The celebration of El Dia De Los Muertos took place at the McCandless House, home to International Programs.

The event was sponsored by the Georgetown College Newman Center in cooperation with Georgetown College’s Spanish Immersion Program, International Programs, and the Georgetown College Center for Civic Engagement. The Day of the Dead celebration was also a Nexus event for students.

The students of Georgetown College partnered with parishioners from St. John’s Catholic Parish, located just off campus, to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed.

The Day of the Dead celebration served an opportunity for a cultural immersion experience. Additionally, the event built community between the students and the Spanish parishioners at St. John’s.

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, to prepare the celebration for campus enjoyment, volunteers met at the McCandless House to decorate the altar that was used to honor their loved ones. These altars, called “ofrendas,” were displayed at thevent.

At 12:30 p.m. on Sunday outside of the McCandless House, there was a special Spanish mass, led by Father Linh and the parishioners.

Despite the chill after the sun hid behind the clouds, the weather was perfect for the outdoor service.

After the service, everyone shared a wonderful meal provided by the parishioners. There were plenty of tables and chairs outside for everyone to sit at, and the altar honoring the loved ones that had passed was set up among the food and festivities.

Melissa Rodriguez, the secretary of the Georgetown College Newman Center, served as a leader in planning the event. When asked about the success of the celebration, she said,

“I thought the event went pretty well. We had a little over 100 people present, which I thought was a very good turnout. I’m really impressed by the work Beth Purdy did, as well as Leticia from St. John’s, at decorating. Father Linh was great at bringing the Spanish mass over to the McCandless House. I know my parents were impressed with the mass service and the whole Day of the Dead event. I was very happy about how it went.”