By Grace Michaelson
The St. Jerome Chapel at Utah State University’s Newman Center has canceled Sunday’s 6 p.m. mass due to Super Bowl 50.
The Newman Center serves as a satellite parish to the larger St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hyde Park. The center is also home to six university students and a campus minister.
Christina Heitzinger, a student resident of the Newman Center, estimated that about 40 students attend services at St. Jerome and many more attend the larger parish. Sunday evening mass was canceled to allow members to enjoy the game, which will feature the Carolina Panthers versus the Denver Broncos and will begin at 4:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
The decision didn’t sit well will every parishioner.
“It’s weird that they’re cancelling the service. They should always do services, even with a potentially low attendance rate,” said Haile Falemaka, a Catholic student.
The Newman Center was built to ensure that students attending Utah State University could easily access church services from campus.
“A lot of our students are out-of-state or international, so a lot of them don’t have cars when they come here,” said Doren VanDyke, the president of the USU Newman Center Club. “This allows them to still be able to go to mass. They’re able to walk to mass, rather than going three or four miles to get to the other church.”
Due to the cancellation of Sunday mass, the next services will be held on Feb. 10. The Newman Center will hold Ash Wednesday distribution services beginning at 7 a.m. Additional services will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas at 12 p.m, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
“We try to cater to everybody, with everybody’s busy schedules,” VanDyke said.
The services are open to the public.
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