3rd Sunday of Lent (A) | Mar 15, 2020
Following guidelines established for the UNC system in response to the coronavirus, WCU announced this past Wednesday that it is extending Spring Break by one week, with classes resuming on March 23. This is to give professors time to transition as much as possible to online classes for the remainder of the semester. In light of this, we will not be holding any campus ministry events next week during the extended break period: this includes Mass on campus this Sunday. (Our normal policy is that there are no campus Masses during breaks). Our next campus Mass will therefore be Sunday, March 22. WCU has also banned all gatherings of over 100 people. As none of our events meet this threshold, we will resume our normal campus ministry schedule at that time.

If any student needs a way to get to Mass this Sunday at St. Mary's please let us know (posting in our Facebook Group is the easiest way to find a ride). Masses are Saturday night at 7:00 pm (Spanish) and Sunday morning at 8:30 and 11:30 (both in English).
I will primarily be working from home next week during the extended break, but I will make myself available to any student who needs to meet with me during this time.

A reminder that illness is a legitimate reason to not come to Mass (or any other gathering). This applies not only to coronavirus but any other serious and/or communicable disease. If you are not feeling well, stay home and rest. Please join us in praying for all those affected by illness during this time, as well as those who care for them, that God grant them healing, strength, comfort and peace.

This Sunday's gospel tells of Christ's encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. It is a very rich passage, with lots to unpack. In my reflection this week I look at Christ as the "Living Water." I also link below to an audio reflection on this gospel reading from Bishop Robert Barron that I recommend you take time to listen to. This coming week also includes a few important feast days. We celebrate the memorial of St. Patrick on March 17, and the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19. As we won't be here to celebrate them in person, I provide information about both below.

Finally, looking ahead in our schedule, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is Wednesday, March 25. As our campus ministry chapel is named in honor of Our Lady of the Annunciation, we will be having a special Mass at 8pm instead of our usual holy hour of Adoration. And don't forget to sign up for our Spring Retreat held the first weekend in April. The registration deadline is this coming Thursday, March 19. The link to register is at the bottom of this email. Don't miss out!

In Christ's Peace,
Deacon Matt
Sunday, March 15
"...whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14).
Tuesday, March 17
St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish cultural holiday in America. But did you know St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish? He was born in Britain and captured as a youth and sold as a slave into Ireland. Ireland was pagan at the time, but there must have been some Christian influence there because Patrick converted to Christianity during his captivity. He escaped around age 20 and returned to his homeland. He studied for the priesthood and was eventually ordained a bishop. He was sent by the Church back to Ireland as a missionary. He spent the last 40 years of his life there, preaching the gospel and founding churches.
From the Lorica (Breastplate) of St. Patrick

Christ beside me, Christ before me;
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me;
Christ to right of me, Christ to left of me;
Christ in my lying, my sitting, my rising;
Christ in heart of all who know me,
Christ on tongue of all who meet me,
Christ in eye of all who see me,
Christ in ear of all who hear me.
Thursday, March 19
The Solemnity of St. Joseph
The Solemnity of St. Joseph is one of those rare solemnities that fall during Lent. It gives us a brief reprise from our fasting. As our diocese is celebrating the Year of St. Joseph in 2020, many parishes are arranging for larger than usual celebrations this year (though some are being cancelled due to concerns of coronavirus). Check out what's going on at a parish near you. Mass is planned for 6:30 pm at St. Mary's in Sylva. You can learn more about St. Joseph prayers, devotions, and celebrations in our diocese at the Year of St. Joseph web site .
Next Wednesday, March 25
The Annunciation of the Lord
March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Our campus ministry chapel is named in honor of Our Lady of the Annunciation, so this is a very special day for us. As it falls on a Wednesday this year, we will incorporate our celebration of the solemnity into our Wednesday night program by celebrating  Mass at 8:00 pm instead of our normal holy hour of Adoration. Please join us!
Don't miss our Spring Retreat!
Our Spring Retreat is April 3-5 this year.

LOCATION: YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC
COST: $50 per student

Our retreat will take place over Palm Sunday weekend (Friday night to Sunday morning), as we enter into Holy Week. What a wonderful way to prepare to celebrate our Lord's passion, death and resurrection! Join us as we step away from the business and stress of campus life to spend a weekend in prayer and fellowship. Deadline to register is March 19 so don't delay!
Catholic Campus Ministry at WCU
Deacon Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister