Dec 5, 2013

Local church to host Advent Adoration, Mass for college students Dec. 6



(CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Staff report

SPRINGFIELD – St. Mary Church, 519 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, will host “Longing Hearts,” a special evening for local college students on Friday, Dec. 6.

The evening will begin with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 7:30 p.m., followed by Mass at 9 p.m.

After the conclusion of the Mass, students are invited to Sal’s Bakery and Café, 513 Belmont Ave., Springfield, for coffee and socialization. All college students are welcome to attend these events and encouraged to bring friends.

Joseph Dziok (pictured at right), a senior at Hart School of Music in Connecticut, is one of the key organizers of the event.

                    (Iobserve file photo by Peggy Weber)

“In Advent, we come to the realization that our hearts are longing for something more,” said Dziok, who also is one of the founders of the San Damiano Youth Group at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Parish in Chicopee.

“As college students, our lives are filled with so many distractions, that we don't take the time to tend to our longing hearts,” he continued. “As our hearts are longing for the Lord, his heart also is longing for us to come to him in the Blessed Sacrament.” 

Father John McDonagh, coordinator of campus ministry outreach for the Springfield Diocese, pointed out the importance of the college students’ gathering afterwards to visit with each other. He said it is an opportunity for students “to take a step outside where they are comfortable and share what is in their hearts, asking, ‘What do we really want to share with each other, instead of holding all that stuff in?’”

Father McDonagh said he sees the evening as a way for students to begin “building a Catholic college community upon the Lord and with each other.” 

For more information on the “Longing Hearts” evening, or with questions on campus ministry, contact Father McDonagh at 413-452-0837, 413-302-1494 or