There are 4 Masses available to Benedictine College students during the week in three different locations. Approximately 30-40% of students attend daily Mass and 80-90% attend Sunday Mass. There are three dorms that currently have chapels that repose the Blessed Sacrament. Perpetual Adoration is offered at St. Benedict’s parish church on the edge of campus, where students are encouraged to participate. Altogether, there are 6 places on campus where students can regularly visit the Blessed Sacrament. Campus ministry also offers at least two Eucharistic processions a year on the Solemnity of Christ the King and during Service Week.
Benedictine College has one of the best campus ministry programs in the country. It works with and supports many campus groups such as the Legion of Mary, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) which began at BC, Saint Paul’s Outreach (SPO), the Knights of Columbus, Communion and Liberation, Ravens Respect Life, as well as many others. Every year, it sponsors dozens of mission trips all over the world and hosts a large number of events on campus ranging from lectures from some of the top minds in the Catholic Church to Holy hours for special intentions.
Benedictine College has always fostered a Marian devotion. The college was founded in 1858, the same year that Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette at Lourdes. Marian devotion is very strong at Benedictine College today, which is due especially to the leadership of BC president Stephen Minnis. In 2009, Mary’s Grotto, based off of the grotto at Lourdes was finished and dedicated in a special ceremony by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann. In 2013 the entire campus was consecrated to Mary by Abbot James Robert Albers, OSB in a well-attended ceremony. At the same time, a new fountain was dedicated in the academic quad which depicts Our Lady of Grace and is modeled off of an older statue used by the campus up until the 1980’s, when it fell in disrepair. In 2014 Guadalupe Hall was dedicated as a new dorm. In this dorm each floor is named after a solemnity of Our Lady- Assumption, Immaculate Conception, Mother of God, and Annunciation. Each room in Guadalupe Hall is named after a title of Our Lady as well. In addition to all this, one can find many images of Mary all across campus.
Besides these outward signs of devotion to Mary is a strong Marian spirit. Every year there are at least two Marian Processions from the Abbey Church to the Grotto- the Immaculate Conception procession on December 8th and the May Crowning Procession in May. During the May Crowning procession all those students who have discerned a vocation to the priesthood or religious life are honored- the men being asked to serve Mass and the procession, the women being asked to carry the crown and place it upon Mary’s head at the Grotto.
Campus Ministry also promotes the Total Consecration to Mary for the Immaculate Conception, making the consecration in a public ceremony in the Abbey’s Guadalupe Chapel. The Knights of Columbus lead a Rosary every night before the 9:30 PM student Mass. President Minnis also leads a Rosary every Wednesday morning and First Friday devotions during the school year. There are also various groups of students who get together on their own to pray the Rosary.