The first Tuesday of March is known as the holiday called Mari Gras or Fat Tuesday. One may associate this holiday with colorful beads, costumes, and New Orleans. However, the true meaning behind this Catholic holiday is to indulge oneself as long as it is within the context of Catholic morality and reason. The reason for this is because the following day is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent for Catholics. During these forty days, Catholics take part in prayer, fasting, self-sacrifice, and repentance. Today, Mardi Gras has become a huge celebration all over the world that brings people of different races, cultures, and ages together to partake in this holiday’s festivities.

The University of Saint Mary wants to create a similar tradition by having a Mardi Gras celebration of their own. One of the core values of the University of Saint Mary focuses on community.  The Sisters hosting a Mardi Gras party that welcomes everyone affiliated with USM helps in creating and maintaining the sense of community that is present at the University of Saint Mary.

Campus Minster Jacob Hayden encourages students to attend the event. “I think students should attend because it is an easy commute (just down the hall from St. Joseph’s) and the sisters are enjoyable to be around. It is a great way to experience something that is unique to the University of Saint Mary. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth is a group of women who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place and the entire reason our university exists.”

Because Catholicism is a big part of the University of Saint Mary and Mardi Gras is a Catholic holiday, the Sisters want to celebrate Mardi Gras with students at the Mother House Dining Room this Tuesday, March 5th from 6 P.M. – 7 P.M. During this celebration students can converse, play games, get their face painted, have their photo taken at the photo booth, and indulge in some snacks. The Sisters are also giving away gift cards to the first twenty students to arrive at the celebration.

“It is a great opportunity to celebrate and honor (the sisters), as well as enjoy a fun activity that is personally enriching,” said Hayden.

Justine Brown-DaCosta is a Senior at the University of Saint Mary and is double majoring in Psychology and Sport Management and minoring in Coaching.