As We Enter This Strange Triduum, Three Gifts (and a Request) from Wyoming Catholic
It has indeed been a strange Lent.
Throughout America (and the entire world), we Catholics find ourselves giving up far more than we’d ever imagined—much of it without our consent, and even against our will. Here at Wyoming Catholic College, our students have been separated from the community that nurtured and supported their educational endeavors, and sent off into the desert of Distance Education. Those of us who remain behind strive to make their time away from us as fruitful as possible, in the hopes that this period of tribulation might make their eventual return even sweeter.
We recognize that attending classes through the digital intermediate of Zoom meetings and Populi discussions or nurturing friendship and community by email or Facetime or phone can never be more than a shadow of their vibrant life in Lander, but we also realize that there is good to be found even in these most trying of circumstances. While we are saddened by the frustration so many of our students feel in being compelled to continue their studies in this imperfect way, we are greatly encouraged by their determination and their commitment. I can think of no greater testament to the importance of what we are doing here at Wyoming Catholic than the fact that nearly two-hundred young men and women are battling to preserve it even in these most trying of circumstances.
Indeed, there is good to be found in these most trying of times. And as a reminder to ourselves, to our students, and to all of you in the College’s extended family, we wanted to share a trio of gifts with you—gifts that rise out of the rich devotional life that we are blessed to share here in the Wyoming Catholic College community. We hope that the three will help render your Holy Week and Triduum fruitful, despite the strangeness of the time.
First, a reflection from Professor Kyle Washut, our Academic Dean, on the role grief and faith can play in our students lives at this time—a faith-filled grief that mirrors the tribulations and hopes of each and every Holy Week.
Second, a recording of the Stations of the Cross from the College’s first few years, performed by our students and choir and featuring Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman’s meditations.
Third, Dr. Jason Baxter’s newly-completed course, “Into the Lenten Desert,” on the great saints of the Medieval Era and what they can teach us about prayer, penance, and spiritual warfare. (The first of its seven lectures can be heard below, and the rest of the series is available on our Distance Learning mini-site.)
Lastly, if you feel called to support our efforts to carry on our important work during these strange and difficult times, please know of our great gratitude. Know also of our prayers for your health and comfort, and for the comfort and safety of those dear to you. I would ask you to keep our students, faculty, and staff in your prayers in a particular way during this time. The community we share here in Lander is an extraordinary one, and the yearly culmination of our Lenten fast in the gloriousness of Easter is a particularly wonderful time for us, both liturgically and culturally. The absence and distance will be felt keenly by all of us over these next few days, I’m sure.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us!
Joseph G. Susanka
Vice President of Advancement