Jocelyn Buggy ‘22
On Sunday, September 6, the Chaplain’s Office sent an e-mail to students of all class years that included registration links for a variety of faith-based offerings. One of the programs, all of which are to be rolled out during the fall semester, is called “Soul Squads: Conversations on faith, justice, hope, and life.” These “Soul Squads” are groups of approximately ten students that will meet weekly for one hour via Zoom. Facilitated by the College Chaplains, each cohort will explore different topics centered around faith and life in a virtual environment.
Students of all faith traditions were encouraged to participate in Soul Squads. Those who were interested accessed a Google Forms survey with fields to input relevant personal information. The survey asked students to indicate their class year, availability, and particular topic-focused groups that they would be interested in joining. There were many different kinds of groups to choose from, such as multi-class year groups, a group for fourth-year students, groups for female-identifying students, and a group that will focus on studying Christian scripture.
Third-year student Mary Cronin told The Spire that she felt led to sign-up for Soul Squads because “because it seemed like a perfect way to engage with the Holy Cross community and to spend time focusing on faith.” When asked why she wanted to participate, Mary said: “Offerings like this in our new online setting are important because they allow students to stay connected with Holy Cross while we are all remote. Even though we are missing out on in-person campus activities, these programs provide students the familiarity and comfort of the unique opportunities that make Holy Cross so special.”
“We created Soul Squads to give students the opportunity to connect on a deeper level and to have meaningful conversations about faith, justice, and hope,” said Chaplain Omondi Andrew. Omondi, who is leading a Bible study Soul Squad, told The Spire that he is excited to “see students slow down and be re-energized as faith is reignited in their soul.” He continued, saying: “I believe Soul Squads will help shorten the distance between students and Campus by bringing these programs right to their spaces and encouraging their participation. Remember, people who share ideas, thoughts, and feelings tend to be and remain one, even when they live one thousand miles away from each other. Thus, this is what Soul Squads aims to achieve.”In addition to Soul Squads, the Chaplain’s Office is offering many other resources and programs to help students navigate the unprecedented remote semester. In early October, the Office will release sign-ups for “With All Your Heart,” a six-week virtual retreat for students, faculty, and staff centered around themes found in the Spiritual Exercises. Students can also participate in virtual engagement opportunities with the Worcester community through the Civitas initiative, and can even schedule a 1:1 Zoom meeting with a Chaplain to receive support and spiritual direction. Students are encouraged to follow @hc_chaplains on Instagram and subscribe to text message updates via hcchaplains.flocknote.com for the latest news.