JCCC: A Classroom Sanctuary

Most days of the week, Carlson Center room #234 is your typical community college classroom. There is nothing particularly special about the tables and chairs facing the whiteboard covered with partially-erased words, the posters advertising financial aid, or the florescent lights and nondescript carpet.

Once a month though, the tables are pushed aside, the chairs face a makeshift alter, a crucifix covers the whiteboard, and this humble classroom becomes a sanctuary: a place where the living God gives life to His people.  

Since the Fall of 2013, Saint Paul’s Outreach at Johnson County Community College has been hosting Mass on the first Fridays of the month during the school year. There is no chapel or campus ministry at this public college, but for 20-30 students and faculty who believe in a God who was born in a stable and comes to us in the form of bread, it is easy to see this classroom as holy ground: at least for an hour.