By Henry M. Martinez Jr.
What can be better than food for the heart and mind?
Students surrounded a bluecheckered tablecloth layered with cold cuts and blueberry pie Tuesday for “Picnic and Parables” at the Catholic Student Center.
“Picnic and Parables” is a free weekly event that happens at 12:15 p.m. Tuesdays at the center.
Meagan Halbardier, freshman criminal justice major and vice president, said the Catholic Student Association has a guest speaker, usually a nun, who discusses parables or religious stories that teach a moral.
Students discuss how the message affects their lives, and share a picnic meal afterwards.
Halbardier, has been involved in the association for two semesters.
She said these types of events help students “bond more” and get “more connected to people.”
Halbardier said the number of students that attend can range from 15 to 20, and the event is usually outside.
Tuesday’s high was 67°F at 2:05 p.m., so 10 students picnicked on the living room floor.
Sister Pat Connolly, DC (Daughters of Charity) was Tuesday’s speaker. Connolly read Matthew 6:7-15 and Jeremiah 29:11-13 from the Bible.
She stimulated conversation with a picture of the “Creation of Adam,” a statue of Jesus holding Adam in his lap in Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France.
Connolly said the unfinished Adam points to the work God still has to do in each of us.
This open forum and relaxed atmosphere allowed students to express their own thoughts as well as listen to the thoughts and comments that Connolly presented.
While students spoke their minds, the conversations were not linear.
Biology freshman Crystal White was among the students in attendance.
White said when Connolly was explaining the parable, it opened her eyes about prayer and that even though God knows our prayers, he still wants to hear them.
“Last night, I prayed a little bit longer. I really put some thought into it,” White said.
Students who spoke often had other students branch off their ideas and kept conversations going, allowing for broad interpretations.
When asked what she wanted students to know about the event, Halbardier said “free food.”
“Picnic and Parables” is at 12:15 p.m. every Tuesday at the Catholic Student Center, 312 W. Courtland Place.
The center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and offers students Mass and meal every Friday at 12:20 p.m.
For more information, call 210-736-3752.