Thursday, June 11, 2009

corpus christi

Twelve years of Catholic school education and my response when I heard about Corpus Christi was, "Huh? Like the city in Texas?"

Bread and grapes were set at the altar for the all-school mass this morning. Corpus Christi is a celebration of the Eucharist.

To be fair, when I pressed students for the reason behind the festival that is recognized as a national Bolivian holiday, nobody could really give me a good explanation. "We spend the day at home with our family," one professor told me. "The tradition is to eat peanuts and fruit," a student said.

"Okay," I accepted the family, fruit, and nuts explanation. "But what IS it?" I pressed.

Everyone told me that it is a Catholic feast day...which, with a name like Corpus Christi, I think that is pretty obvious. I just couldn't understand why it isn't a big-deal holiday in the U.S., let alone a day I remember celebrating at church.

Male faculty and staff from Campus Leahy faced off against their counterparts from Campus Manning.  Manning put the smack down on Leahy...with help from our very own Andy Engel who had a goal!

A search on Wikipedia explained that it is a feast day which celebrates the Eucharist, the body of Christ.  While in the U.S. we always celebrate it on Sunday (which is what threw me for the loop), here in Bolivia, Corpus Christi is recognized as the first Thursday following Trinity Sunday...and it comes complete with a whole day off from work.

Today at the College, in honor of Corpus Christi, all classes are suspended.  An all-school mass was held this morning followed by games (basketball, futsal, and soccer) between administrators, professors, and students.  At 2pm everyone gathered in the patio on Campus Manning to have lunch and conversation.  This afternoon games continue.  So this confirmed the part about spending time with family/friends.  But I'm still not sure where the fruit and nuts fit in!?

I know for sure if we celebrated Corpus Chrisit this way in the U.S. I would've known that this feast day is about a whole lot more than some city in Texas.

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