Christmas Eve Mass resumes on campus


John Hawkey

Students, parents, faculty and alumni gather in the gym Dec. 24, 2019 to celebrate mass. It is the last time De Smet hosted the Christmas Eve mass.

Clark Chamberlin, Opinions Editor

The Christmas Eve mass is returning to DeSmet after a three-year hiatus. It will be held at 4:00 PM in the gym, and everyone is welcome to attend.

“This is, outside of a sporting event, our largest attended event,” Director of Alumni Engagement Pat Morris said. “Even though we’ve taken off a couple of years because of Covid, we’re anticipating a high number like that.”

Seats are on a first-come-first-serve basis, and there are typically 1,500-2,000 people who show up for the mass.

“If people haven’t seen it before and want to come up, we’d be happy to have you,” Morris said. “Come early to get some good seats, because it will fill up.”

Fifteen minutes before Father O’Dwyer S.J. begins saying the mass, there will be time for socialization and singing Christmas carols.

“Christmas is all about coming together with family and friends,” Mass Organizer John Hawkey said. “This is the opportunity for the De Smet family and friends to come together. It’s what the holidays are for.”

The Christmas Eve mass has been a De Smet tradition for decades.

“Christmas is always a great blessing, so I’m very very excited to have this liturgy taking place and be able to see everybody back again,” Hawkey said. “I know many alumni and teachers and people who are very excited to come back.”

Former faculty members Deacon Frank Olmstead and Fred Kramer plan on attending the mass, among others.

“It may be a huge mass in a gymnasium, but it’s a beautiful mass,” Hawkey said. “It’s a special time that transports you to real faith and church experience.”