Chapel Period From The Eyes Of New Students

Fr Jeff celebrating Mass with Deacon Fred.

Adam Richins

Fr Jeff celebrating Mass with Deacon Fred.

On Monday, September 12, we had our first Chapel Period. We are both new students, so this was a new experience for us. We were not really sure what to expect, but that day we went home with a good impression of Chapel Period. One thing that we both appreciated was the openness of Fr. John, and the chance to go to confession. As well as that, we decided that Chapel Period is a great moment for reflection and prayer. We both look forward to Chapel Periods coming up and agree that they are a great part of the religion curriculum at Montrose. 


Elisabeth’s account:

With my first Chapel Period coming up, I was not sure what to think. Being new to Montrose, I wasn’t sure what a Chapel Period really was when Ms. Fernandes first mentioned it in class. In my mind, it would have been an hour of Fr. John explaining the Mass to us like we were three years old, but it was much more than that. 

When Fr. John did describe the Mass to us, he found a way to catch the new people up without having the veterans lose focus. I was surprised by his eloquence and care in the words he chose. Afterwards, we had time for silent reflection, prayer, and confession. 

Confession. I personally had not been to confession in a long time, so I experienced mixed feelings of anticipation and fear. I remembered nothing about what on earth we were supposed to be doing! I had skimmed my little sister’s guide to Reconciliation, thinking, “Wait, I am supposed to do that?” and “I don’t remember that part!.” After lots of silent prayer (and stress), I had a plan: to ask Fr. John to walk it through with me. Okay, one problem solved. Now, the other: I did not remember my sins! Again, with the help of God and the Saints, I created a good list of what I had done wrong and am sorry for. 

Then Ms. Fernandes tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that it was my turn for confession. I was shaking as I sat in the chair next to the room, but once I entered the Confessional, all of my fears were gone. Fr. John was so understanding and helpful the whole time. Before I knew it I was forgiven: It felt really good. I finished up with some Thanksgiving prayers and my penance, and headed out with my group to the next class. After such a good first impression, I am fervently waiting for our next one. 


Victoria’s account:

For me, Chapel Periods are one of the best kinds of religion classes. A couple weeks ago, my religion class had our first Chapel Period. One great thing about Chapel Period was that it was not very structured, and we got to just be alone with our thoughts. At the beginning of the class we got introduced to Fr. John. He told us about all of the places in the Chapel and what certain things were used for. During Chapel Period you have the freedom to do whatever kind of praying you want. 

An option during Chapel Period was to go talk to Fr. John. You could go to confession, ask him a question, or talk to him about the faith. I decided to go to confession. Father John was a kind priest and great for confessions. I am grateful for the option to go to confession because it is a way to pardon my sins frequently. If you are like me, it is difficult to go to confession so frequently, so this is a great opportunity we have at Montrose.

Besides confession, Chapel Period is a great time to pray. I had the chance to take a couple of breaths and just be alone with myself and Jesus. Although we did have Mass in the mornings, I found Chapel Period as an extra special way to just pray on my own time and really meditate.

Our religion teacher, Ms. Fernandes, also gave us a couple verses about love. She read it three times, and told us to first find a sentence that we really liked. Then she told us to find a phrase in the verses that we appreciated. Lastly, we chose one word that meant a lot to us. We had the option to not only pray about it, but also to journal about it. This goes to show that Chapel Period is for praying in many different ways, whether it be by talking to the priest, kneeling on the kneelers, or reading the Bible and journaling about it. 

We both enjoyed having a quiet time in our day to pray and go to confession. While reading and writing our reflections, one thing that we both had in common was our appreciation for Fr. John. We would like to end our article with a thank you to Fr. John and all that he does. Montrose would not be Montrose without him and all that he contributes.

by Elisabeth Smith ’28 and Victoria Flores ’28, Contributing Writers