High school students are more likely to suffer from some form of mental illness because of the many pressures of high school, including schoolwork, trying to fit in, and worrying about the future. This week, members of the Class of 2023 talk about why it is our Christian duty to look out for others, not just during May, but all year round. Counselors Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Penberthy share warning signs of mental illness as well as tips for caring for one’s own health and that of others. To show support for Mental Health Awareness, t-shirts will be sold to benefit the National Alliance for Mental Illness. They feature a semi-colon, the national symbol of mental health, which signifies that a person’s story is never over; it will continue. St. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you not only look to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” What are you doing to actively care for your own mental health as well as those of your family, friends, and colleagues?
3-Minute Theology Videos
Happy Easter! Jesus is risen from the dead! Alleluia! During one of the first appearances Jesus made to the apostles after his resurrection, he breathed on them and gave them the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? What is the Holy Spirit and why is Jesus gifting him to the apostles, and us? This week, Fr. Charlie Samson, Archdiocesan Priest and Assistant Professor at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, explains how Jesus is offering the apostles forgiveness. This is also when he instituted the Sacrament of Confession by granting the apostles the power to forgive others’ sins. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection God has reconciled the world to himself and grants us the gift of forgiveness through the Holy Spirit as we confess our sins during Reconciliation. Is there anything for which you need to reconcile with God? Or with others? Receive the Easter peace that Jesus wants to give you.
Why did Jesus have to die on the cross in order to save us from our sins? This week, 2011 De Smet graduate, Fr. Joe Detwiler explains to us that Jesus’ passion fulfills the prophesies of the Old Testament about the suffering servant. But most importantly, Jesus chose such a painful death to save us so that he could relate to us. By suffering not only gruesome physical pain, but also rejection, betrayal, mockery, insults, and abandonment from friends, there is no pain that we humans can experience that Christ has not yet already endured. He understands our pain, can relate to us, and be by our side when we are suffering. As we head into Holy Week, may we remember that Christ took upon himself the punishment we deserve in order to do something we could never do: save ourselves.
Why do we give things up for Lent and why don’t we eat meat on Fridays during Lent? This week Fr. Clark Philipp ’10 explains that “to fast” comes from the word to hold firm or to get a better grip on something. Our fasting helps us get a better grasp on our lives so that we are able to give them away as a gift. He continues that we can only truly find ourselves and discover the richness of who we are meant to be by giving ourselves away. Fasting also reminds us that we hunger for something more in life. Physical needs will only satisfy us temporarily, but it is in Communion with Christ when we will fully be satiated. By not eating meat on Fridays we are offering to Christ a sacrifice in remembering his ultimate gift of self for us, by dying on the cross for our sins. The next time you crave the item you gave up for Lent or maybe even complain about the inconvenience of not eating meat on Fridays, perhaps you can turn it into a prayer or a gift of self, to remember that through your fasting you can build a better relationship with the one who loves you more than life itself.
Did you know that the origin of the Stations of the Cross goes all the way back to Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus? Tradition says that she would retrace Jesus’ final steps every day. Over time, this tradition spread, and many people began walking through the Holy Land where Jesus journeyed his way to Calvary. Those not in the Holy Land would set up plaques or statues to help themselves meditate on Jesus’ way of the cross. The 14 Stations of the Cross commemorate important moments that Jesus endured before his death. Reflecting upon these moments draws us closer to Christ, invites us to experience his suffering, and hopefully leaves us ever more grateful for this most undeserving gift that Christ gives us through his passion, death, and resurrection. We are almost halfway through Lent. How is your prayer and fasting going? Perhaps you can pray the Stations of the Cross as we head closer to Easter.
What is the purpose of Lent? Why do Catholics take this time to spend in prayer and fasting? Fr. Clark Philipp '10 explains in this video how we should use this time to rend our hearts, or in other words, remove the calluses that have built up on our hearts and made them hard. By ridding ourselves of these things that prevent us from living and loving well, God can transform our hearts and better prepare us to celebrate the passion, death, and Resurrection of Christ during Easter.
Why do we focus so much on death during Lent? Catholics begin Lent with Ash Wednesday Mass during which we receive ashes that remind us of our mortality. In this week’s video, Fr. Zac Povis ’07 explains to us how the purpose of focusing on our mortality is to remember the fact that we don’t have forever to live here on this Earth and that we should use the time we are given to best of our ability, to love God and neighbor. Additionally, the ashes remind us that death is not the final step; that we have joy and hope that comes with the Resurrection. We all share in Christ’s death and resurrection, so when we get overwhelmed with sadness, tragic events, or moments of despair we remember that Christ has already been there and redeemed it for us. This season of Lent, will you let Christ into the darkest moments of your life? Will you let Christ be your reason for hope?
Why do we have Black History Month and why should it matter to all of us? In this week’s video, members of the Black Student Union share the history of Black History Month and what it means to them. As Christians we believe that all mankind is created in God’s image and likeness and therefore everyone deserves dignity and respect. Dr. Cox, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, explains that this month is not just about looking back at the difficult times in history, but also celebrating the accomplishments of black Americans that have contributed to our country and have affected all of our lives. The Black Student Union’s challenge for the De Smet community this month is to find a way to commemorate Black History Month in a way that means something to each individual person.
How will you be open to growth this month and celebrate Black History? Watch the entire explanation here.
Saints are holy people who once lived on the earth but are now spending eternity with God in Heaven. There are many steps in the process the Church uses to declare someone a saint, a person to whom we can turn to for intercession. This week, the Spanish Club teaches us about the Jesuit priest from El Salvador, Rutilio Garcia Grande, S.J., who will be beatified, one of the steps in the process, this coming Saturday. El Salvador experienced much turmoil in the twentieth century. Rutilio Grande dedicated his life’s work to helping the poor and marginalized, which ultimately led to his assassination in 1977. Our school’s mission calls us to be men for and with others no matter where this may lead us. What opportunities exist for us to use our gifts to help those in need?
This week, the senior leaders of the Campus Ministry homeroom explain what separates De Smet Jesuit from other schools and why we offer so many opportunities for students to engage in their faith. They challenge the student body, as we begin this new year, to be open to God's call and to choose one specific way in which they can grow in their relationship with God through the many experiences they encounter on campus. Finally, they remind everyone of Ignatius' desire to do everything ad majorem Dei gloriam (AMDG). Will you be open this new year?
What exactly is an epiphany? It comes from the Greek word meaning a manifestation, a revealing. The Word of God reveals himself in the flesh as Christ Jesus. The Church celebrates the Epiphany when the three wise men from the East visit Christ the King, which demonstrates that he came not just for the chosen people, but for all mankind. The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh represent who Jesus was: his kingship, his divinity, and his humanity and death. As we begin a new year, the Campus Ministry Team invites you to reflect upon the past year and make a resolution to improve your relationship with God. How can you offer a gift of yourself to him this coming year?
Advent means "a coming" or "an arrival," and it consists of the four weeks leading up to the birth of Christ. But what is the purpose of Advent? This week, alumni and seminarians for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Nolan Shannon '18 and Adam Gordon '17, explain to us how we anticipate the incarnation of God into the world. The Israelites longed for God to rescue them from captivity, but little did they know that they would be receiving much more, the ability to have life with God and share in his divinity. God wants us to experience everlasting joy in a life with him, so we must lay our burdens down and seek him. How will you prepare your heart this Advent season?
Why do Catholics worship Mary? Why do they pray to her? In this week’s video we discuss how Catholics honor Mary as the mother of God. And in that honoring, we don’t worship Mary, but we ask her to pray for us since she is seated next to Jesus in Heaven. Just like he listened to her at the wedding of Cana, he listens to her pleas, so we ask her to pray on our behalf, especially when we are unable to pray to God ourselves. The prayer “Hail Mary” comes directly from scripture and uses the words that St. Elizabeth greets Mary with when she finds out that Mary is pregnant with Jesus. “Blessed are you among women.” Mary was chosen out of all the women of the world to be the mother of the Savior of the world, so why would we not give her the honor that God saw in her? Next time you need someone to pray for you, consider asking Mary, your heavenly mother, to intercede on your behalf so that when you aren’t able to pray at a certain moment, her prayers can continue as she sits next to and talks to her son in Heaven.
“He took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you.” Did you know that the word “Eucharist” is derived from the Greek word “eucharistia” meaning “thanksgiving?” Jesus gave thanks to the Father in Heaven and each time we celebrate Mass and the sacrifice at the altar, we are participating in this act of giving thanks to God, just as Jesus did, and just as is happening all the time in Heaven. In this week’s video, alumnus Dennis Stoll ’02 explains to us the beauty of the gift we get to receive in the Eucharist, and challenges us to read Jesus’ words in John 6, to believe that the consecrated bread and wine truly are Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity.
The next time you go to Mass, instead of expecting “to get something out of it,” (because that is not the purpose of Mass), instead ask yourself, “what can I offer during this Mass; what thanks and praise can I give to our Lord in Heaven?” The latter attitude will reap many more benefits than the former. Remember: “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give [Him] thanks.”
Thank you to all veterans who have served or are currently serving our country. In this week’s video, guest speaker, Fr. Brian Reedy, S.J., Jesuit priest, professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, and lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, talks about the risks and sacrifices that the military service members expose themselves to each day. Fr. Reedy serves as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and is able to provide the sacraments, counseling, and advice to his battalion of more than 500 service members. He highlights how important it is for all of us to be praying for those who serve—not only because of the risks they take upon their lives, but because of the many sacrifices they make by leaving their families and often living the rest of their lives with injuries in mind, body, and spirit. Let us be grateful to these men and women who protect our freedoms and remember them daily in our prayers. St. Ignatius, St. Sebastian, and St. Longinus, patrons of the military, pray for us!
Why do we pray for the dead? In this week’s video, Fr. Zac Povis ’07 explains how our souls go on to live forever, despite the mortality of our bodies. When a person dies without full detachment from sin, he or she cannot enter Heaven immediately, for Revelation 21:27 tells us that “no unclean thing shall enter Heaven.” As Catholics, we believe that these souls go to Purgatory. Purgatory is not a state of punishment, but rather an extension of God’s mercy upon us. The souls in Purgatory will eventually enter Heaven after they’ve been cleansed and fully detached from sin. As a community, one body in Christ, we can pray for the deceased so that their souls might be cleansed and they can enter Heaven. We do not know where the souls of our loved ones go when they die, so we should pray and offer sacrifices on their behalf. If they are already in Heaven, God can use our prayers for another soul in Purgatory.
Have you ever wondered what that smell was at church? Why do Catholics use incense during Mass? This week, Mr. Manaker, SJ, explains how the use of incense dates back to the ancient Israelites to demonstrate the presence of God. Moses constructed an altar of incense to be placed before the Tabernacle in the tent. Now, as Catholics we use incense in the same way, to show how God is really present at Mass, through the Word of God that is proclaimed and physically in the bread and wine as they become Jesus’ body and blood. Furthermore, incense has long been used to symbolize human’s prayers as they rise from Earth up to God in heaven. The next time you are at Mass and see or smell incense, take a moment to pray using your senses and watch as your prayer rises to heaven.
What is an icon? Why do Catholics have so many pictures of Jesus, the Trinity, and the saints—and what are they used for?
This week, Deacon Frank Olmsted, a retired De Smet Jesuit theology teacher of 34 years, shares with us how icons help draw us deeper into reflection about the person or image it is depicting. We’ve been focusing on the Saints this month, and icons can help us reflect upon their lives and how they can be models for us. The next time you see an icon, take note of the message it is depicting, and let it draw you more closely to Jesus in prayer.
Have you missed a week from our 3-Minute Theology series? Explore the video archive here.
Who are your favorite saints? How do you call upon the saints to intercede for your intentions? In a follow-up from last week’s video, this week we hear from some De Smet Jesuit students, faculty, and staff as they reflect upon their favorite saints and blesseds. Do you see yourself becoming a saint? Let us look to these holy men and women who have gone before us and have shown us that no matter the circumstances, there is always a chance to accept God’s grace and forgiveness and to live our lives for his greater glory so that we may one day live with him forever in Heaven.
Have you ever wondered why we as Catholics talk so much about the saints? Who were they and why are so important? Do Catholics pray to or worship saints? This week, Mr. Henry Samson explains what it means to be a saint and why the Church looks to these important figures in our history as role models to emulate in our lives. He continues by explaining how they can intercede for us to the Lord, much like when we ask a friend to pray for us when we have a special need. Who are some of your favorite saints? Perhaps you can look up the saints who have a feast day on your birthday or who had the same interests as you. Next time you need someone to pray for you, don’t be shy to ask the saints to intercede for you so that someone will always be asking God for your need, even when you aren’t able to pray for yourself.
Last week we heard about the Sacraments and how they are outward signs of God’s grace instituted by Christ for our sanctification. This week Mr. Manaker, S.J., explains the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why do we have to confess our sins to a priest? Why can’t we just say we’re sorry to God directly in our prayers? After his Resurrection, Christ breathed on the Apostles and gave them the power to forgive and retain sins.
Not only does the Sacrament of Reconciliation forgive our sins, it also gives us grace, which renews our hearts and minds and gives us the strength to respond to God’s call for our lives. Need some grace? The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available upon request by scanning the QR code in the hallway and during Friday advisories in the chapel. Face-to-face or behind-the-screen options are both available!
What exactly are the sacraments, and why does the Church promulgate them? This week, seminarian for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Ryan Quarnstrom ’15 talks to us about how these sacraments are outward signs of God’s grace to sanctify us. He explains how the components that make up the sacraments, both matter (physical elements: bread, wine, water, oil) and the form (the words that give meaning to the elements) mimic how we are created as humans, both body and soul.
Anyone who wishes to receive more information about sacraments are invited to reach out to their parishes or contact De Smet Jesuit Campus Ministry for resources and support. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available upon request by scanning the QR code in the hallway and the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is available every morning at 8 a.m. in the chapel (except Wednesdays). Take a moment to watch the entire explanation about the Sacraments.
What is the Sign of the Cross and why do we do it? This week, De Smet Jesuit alumnus from 2012 and Jesuit Scholastic, Nick Blair, explains to us the origins of the Sign of the Cross and how in doing so we remember the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. Signing ourselves is a way to consecrate and recommit ourselves to our Baptismal promises of a life of love and relationship to each other and to God. Watch the entire explanation here. Will you be more intentional the next time you make the Sign of the Cross?
September 8 is the feast day of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to serving the slaves as they disembarked in Colombia. We invite you to check out this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, which is a collaboration between Campus Ministry student leaders and the Black Student Union to hear their perspective of how St. Peter Claver’s example is relevant to our lives today. How do we work to fight against injustices in the world?
In this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, former faculty member of more than 40 years, Ken Luecke, shares with us on the topic of prayer. What is prayer? What are good ways to pray? We encourage you and your family to discover new ways to pray together and build a strong relationship with our Lord. Ask your son about his preferences of prayer. If you struggle with prayer, perhaps you could designate a set time each week to pray as a family or talk about your spiritual life. If you would like resources on how to pray as a family, please contact Campus Ministry.
In this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, Fr. Zachary Povis, alumnus of 2007, talks to us about how, despite popular belief, faith and reason are interconnected. He encourages our students to dig deeper into their faith, ask questions, and seek the answers. Take a moment to watch and discuss with your son. Encourage him to ask the difficult questions. Campus Ministry, theology teachers, parish priests, and deacons, are great resources to help students and families find the answers to these ponderings.
Do you know how Mass came to be? Where did the tradition start? In our new video series, Campus Ministry will be sharing a snippet of our faith with the student body each Thursday. The hope is to talk about and reflect upon common questions about our Catholic faith. In this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, Fr. Burshek talked about the origin of Mass and what it means to celebrate as a community. We encourage parents to watch the videos as well, and discuss with your sons.