Outdoor Mass draws 400 students to Clemens Stadium

Campus & Community Faith & Spirituality

September 7, 2021

Around 350 to 400 students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University gathered in Clemens Stadium Sunday night, Sept. 5 to celebrate Mass.

It marked the second straight year that Saint John’s Campus Ministry has held mass in SJU’s home football stadium.

The first time came a year ago, as students and faculty returned to campus amidst new restrictions and precautions put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the organization was searching for ways to allow more people to gather for Mass in person.

That Mass – which was believed to have been the first to be celebrated in Clemens Stadium – turned out to be a big hit, drawing over 400 students.

And this year’s Mass drew similar numbers with university chaplain Fr. Nick Kleespie, OSB presiding.

“It went really well," said Patrick Martin, St. John’s Campus Ministry assistant director. “It was so helpful to be able to have our music on the new video scoreboard. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

The event was followed by the Campus Ministry Kickoff, which gave students the chance to connect with various faith groups on the CSB and SJU campus.

“That was a good chance for fellowship and to point students in the direction of the various clubs and groups,” Martin said. “We had Gary’s Pizza delivered. People really seemed to like the event and thought it was a good and creative way to make use of the football stadium.”

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Photography credit: Jack Dooley