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Insights from Attending a Catholic Mass Thursday Night

What business does a Sikh woman have going into a Catholic Church on a snowy Thursday night

Insights from Thursday Night Mass

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Some time ago, a friend of mine mentioned that they were going to have their Consecration to Mary. Having had very limited exposure to the Catholic faith, I asked them if I could attend and they happily welcomed me into the Catholic student center not too far from CU’s main campus. We spent some time together drinking coffee in the warmth of the center while snow was falling gracefully outside of the window. My friend introduced me to students in the center who happily answered the questions I had regarding etiquette inside of the church. Time flew by quickly and before I knew it, it was time to enter the church to attend Mass. We got up and began walking to the church which was located about a block from the student center.

I entered the church and observed how people were walking into the sanctuary. I then joined in and took a seat in the pews of the sanctuary, taking a moment to soak in my surroundings and pray. Bells chimed, we all rose, and the priest entered the room. The service was conducted in a reverent manner and I followed along as everyone prayed together in their own ways. When the priest delivered his sermon, I could not help but draw connections between the sermon he was delivering and the Sakhis we are told as young children. I do not remember the exact specifics of the sermon but I do remember a feeling of familiarity with the themes he was discussing. At the end of Mass, one girl offered to walk me home and we talked about how going to different places of worship has strengthened our own respective faiths. I felt a connection to the Guru even though I was not inside of a gurdwara and felt the presence of Waheguru in the sanctuary and through my interactions with people at Mass.

Now you might be asking, what business does a Sikh woman have going into a Catholic Church on a snowy Thursday night?

I went to Mass to understand how Catholics pray, plain and simple. Our 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, discussed the importance of studying different faiths without compromising our own devotion to the teachings of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. By attending a Catholic Mass, I gained valuable insight into the power of prayer for Catholics and the pure love and devotion they have to their way of life and religion.

One of the most important insights I gained from going to Mass was how much I missed connecting with people in a religious setting. I do not live near a gurudwara and usually spend Sundays listening to gurudwara services happening at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in Espanola. At one point in the Mass I remember thinking,

“We all are just trying to connect to each other and a Higher Power. It does not matter that I am a Sikh praying in this sanctuary, it matters that I am connecting to a Higher Power outside of my ego and I am connecting with others.”

It was such a relief to connect with others in a religious setting even though I was not Catholic and I felt such a sense of connection to God that I had not felt for some time outside of my dorm room praying in privacy.

The world we are living in is going through a large transition as we move from one decade to another. People are becoming increasingly isolated during this time of transition and are craving human connection of any kind. It is so difficult to leave our own thoughts and the daily hustle. As a college student, I find it very difficult to leave my own train of thought and connect with others. It is so easy to just operate in autopilot mode and continue to soldier on throughout all the daily tasks we need to do.  What is the solution to increasing isolation and how do we look past our differences and become more connected with each other?

There is no one single answer to this question and I would like to invite you to consider how to connect with people who are different from you as we move to a new decade and a new year. I welcome your sharing in the comments.

Bhul Chuk Maaf Ji

~Maigh Kaur Jammu

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