Easter Words of Wisdom from Father Christian


Nick Bumgardner, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

With Easter on the horizon, Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This time, however, the only difference is that hundreds of millions of Christians will be spending their Easter season inside, away from a church, and with their families.

This is, of course, a result of the coronavirus pandemic causing much of the world to grind to a halt.

During these unique times, the Tritonian reached out to Fr. Christian Raj, Notre Dame’s chaplain, to see how he is adapting to the recent “safer at home” orders from the governor, as well as for any advice on how Christians in our local community can best celebrate the Easter holiday.

“I miss going to school. I miss seeing the students and the staff. I miss playing UNO,” Fr. Christian remarked.

“By nature, I am very optimistic. I believe that everything happens for the good. I trust in God’s plan and I move ahead in my life,” he continued.

“I now have more time to be with the Norbertine community. I feel I have more time to draw closer to God through prayer and contemplation. I pray everyday for the day we’ll return to school. My hobbies are music and singing. So, I spend a lot of time singing and playing the electronic keyboard. I believe my contemplation and prayer life will strengthen and help the Notre Dame family after normalcy resumes,” he concluded.

With many churches closing their doors amidst the pandemic, Christians have had to find new, virtual ways to connect during Easter.

In Green Bay, many local parishes will be holding livestreams of Easter Sunday Mass, as well as various prayer services, throughout the Easter season.

“I know it’s really hard for people not being able to physically attend mass. I believe in the saying that when God closes one door, he opens another. As many parishes and the dioceses do live streaming…seeing the Masses and prayers online helps to draw closer to God and fully experience the Easter Season,” said the chaplain.

However, the United States isn’t the only country affected by shutdowns.

India, Fr. Christian’s native country, will also be experiencing Easter closures, putting a damper on the exciting fanfare of the holiday.

“Easter is celebrated very grandly in India. Easter Vigil Mass starts at 11:30 pm, followed by Easter cake cutting, danc[ing], singing and socializing with the people. On the day of Easter, games and various competitions are organized for the children…and the elderly.  It’s very different from the United States, especially in Vigil Mass time and the social and entertainment thereafter,” he explained.

Lastly, Fr. Christian concluded with a word for the Notre Dame students and staff.

“…These times are hard, but they will pass. God’s ways are amazing. Trust in Him and pray every day. He’ll protect you in the most surprising ways. When we face times of distress and challenge, do not forget that the risen Lord works and protects. Stay strong and please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Have a blessed Easter! Go Tritons Go!”