Spanish Mass open to all on campus

Chapel open first Monday of month for Spanish Mass

Caleb Nelson | Staff Writers |

Spanish Mass is a integral part of St. Michael’s College and is presided over by Reverend Marcel Rainville ’67. There are normally three Spanish Masses held each semester. The next happening on Nov. 7. The Spanish Masses are usually on the first Monday of each month of the first three months of each semester. In the spring depending on when Easter falls, Spanish Mass might be held on a different day. The mass takes place in the chapel and is open to people from all walks of life.

Fr. Rainville has been involved here at Saint Michael’s for a total of 29 years. “Before COVID there were as many as 50 people that would come, now there are normally 30 people.” Rainville believed numbers were especially low because Monday was Labor Day.  

Rainville explained that Spanish Mass happens for many different reasons including Ministers who want to practice their Spanish, students who are majoring in Spanish or are currently in a required Spanish class often end up coming when teachers encourage them to. Also, Spanish Mass offers Spanish, and families with Hispanic background in the area to come to chapel together, to sing Spanish Hymns, and pray together. At this Spanish Mass a total of six Spanish Hymns were sung. The service opened by singing Vienen con Alegría, then moved into Alleluia: Aleluia, Offertory: Te Presentamos El Vino y el Pan, Sign of Peace: La Paz Esté Con Nosotros, Lamb of God: Cordero de Dios, and ended with Communion: Pescador de Hombres. The texts read from were, “built up over the years, even going back to the beginnings of the Spanish Mass at SMC in the 80s and 90s, when Fr. Richard Myhalyk, S.S.E, first organized this Mass in response to requests by the Central American students who were studying at the college,” Rainville said. After the service, people were able to eat cake, cookies, and drink soda provided by Fr. Rainville. 

Laura Duquette ’00,  said she is still coming to Spanish Mass well after her time here at Saint Michael’s College. Duquette, who majored in Spanish, said that originally she came to the mass when invited by a friend from Central America. Duquette came to Spanish Mass as a student not fluent in the language and explained that going to Spanish Mass helped her become more experienced in speaking the language. “After my friend left to go back home, I kept singing with a smaller group,” Duquette said. She went on to say that she wants to, “lead by example for people who do not know how to speak Spanish or are learning the language.”  Rainville said he would love to see students step outside their comfort zone and learn more about this special part of the community. “Our mailing list includes many people from the broader community who are of Hispanic origin or have an interest in things Hispanic, including “gringos” like myself who love to connect with this culture,” Rainville said about getting people to experience Spanish Mass.