MU Cerebellum

"Writers, especially when they act in a body and with one direction, have great influence on the public mind." -Edmund Burke

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stations of the Cross = a "more Catholic" Mission Week

The guys and gal over at and MU-Cerebellum's Id seem confused about the Stations of the Cross in their recent posts… perhaps I can continue the conversation and clarify things for them.

For those who haven't seen the display yet, the Marquette Tribune ran a large photo of one of the 15 crosses on yesterday's front page. These crosses went up this past weekend, just in time for Mission Week.

Mission Week is intended to celebrate Marquette's Catholic identity. If one will recall, last year's Mission Week was hardly “Catholic.” The keynote speaker led rallies against the Catholic Church and fought Catholic teachings regarding homosexuality and women in the priesthood. His anti-Catholic activism was so apparent that his invitation to campus even persuaded four students to publish a Viewpoint condemning his appearance in the Marquette Tribune.

If we fast forward to this year's Mission Week, the Viewpoints page and blogs are singing a different tune... it seems as though the stations of the cross, which I believe are representative of a “more Catholic” Mission Week for this year, are almost “too Catholic” for some people. Yesterday, Assistant Professor of Theology Rev. Thomas Hughson wrote in the Marquette Tribune's Viewpoints page that “ the mall crosses, whatever significant secondary purpose they are meant to serve, are intrusive.” Earlier today, MU-Cerebellum's very own Id said she thinks the crosses infringe upon one's “freedom of thought.” She supported's Justin Phillips in his ill feelings towards the display and then she wished there was a forum for discussion would be held for students about the symbolic meaning of stations!

Is it just me, or are these folks complaining about a Catholic school acting... Catholic!?

Considering how non-Catholic last year's Mission Week was, I for one was grateful to see these Stations of the Cross up in time for the seven days in which Marquette should revel in its Catholicism. Granted, they are progressive in nature, it's quite the improvement from last year's hardly Catholic activities.

Because Marquette is a private school, it should not be afraid to create expressions of faith- especially during one of its more prominent weeks of the year. Our school doesn't have to hide under the guise of “freedom of religion” that others have warped into “freedom FROM religion.”

Rather than dismiss the stations, I am embracing them as an indicator that Marquette has not lost its Catholic identity and is taking strides to continue to differentiate itself from non-Catholic schools… (and for that matter, even other “Catholic” schools that sometimes forget to act that way.)

Nobody is forcing you to go to the Stations of the Cross meditation, Id. No one is even forcing you to like them. But don't suppress someone else's expression of faith because you are uncomfortable… that's what public schools are for.


  • At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    Superego, I guess in all honesty I have to agree with you. I guess I am in the middle of the two. I don't really like how the crosses are depicted, but I appreciate the presence of them on campus. The way the crosses are portrayed seems very in your face because they are trying to tie them into real-life social issues. But it is Catholic week, so it makes sense :)

  • At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Justin said…

    1st of all, Gald to see you three posting. It seems very cool. I'm impressed to the level that the three of you look into blogs including comments, but maybe thats just my ego talking.
    As for my comments on GOP3 (and here)It's not that I object to a catholic school being catholic. (I'll refer to the first line or so of my GOP3 post) My objection is to what is said on the crosses. there are things like Genocide: "Jesus died on the cross". as of 10:46 pm I can't recall any more but I will walk by them tomorrow and take note.


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