Ichthys, a Greek word for the well-known symbol fish, is an acronym meaning “Jesus Christ, Son of God and Our Savior.” It is also the name of Malone’s new Catholic student group. Ichthys is the first denominational group of its kind at Malone.
Junior exercise science and pre-physical therapy major Michelle Wagner is a member of Ichthys.
“We wanted to relate to everyone in the church,” Wagner said. “Catholicism has a lot of traditions and we wanted to go to a time when there was only one kind of church.”
Wagner, one of the co-founders of the group, said that Ichthys has many goals for the group and its members. She said that chapel and Malone’s atmosphere is pretty good at being “ecumenical” — meaning, pertaining to the whole Christian church — but the founders of the group wanted to express their faith in a way that was familiar to them.
The group is open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
“Some people think about Catholicism and they are curious about the liturgical style,” Wagner said.
This group is especially eager to meet due to the ever-changing style of the traditional Catholic mass.
Wagner said they wanted to discuss what the new style was and why it is important to learn it. Some changes include different phrasing of prayers and readings.
“What we learned as a child is soon about to change,” Wagner said.
The inspiration for starting Ichthys was initiated by Dr. Shawn Floyd, associate professor of philosophy at Malone. According to Wagner, she and Floyd had been bouncing back the idea of the denominational group with one another for awhile.
“We wanted this for a while,” Wagner said. “Catholics at Malone don’t know too many other Catholics. We wanted a nice, strong community.”
As of right now, the group is “unofficially” trying to meet and are working every other Sunday at Dr. Floyd’s house. Wagner said the meeting consists of vespers, which are evening meetings. Within these vespers, the group recites psalms and studies the specific readings for that day.
[pullquote]We wanted this for a while,” Wagner said. “Catholics at Malone don’t know too many other Catholics. We wanted a nice, strong community.”[/pullquote]
“We try to go to different church services in the area,” Wagner said, with St. Peter’s Parish on Cleveland Avenue in Canton being the church they attend now.
Although the group is technically still “unofficial” at Malone, Wagner is optimistic about the passing and growth of Ichthys.
“It’s just a matter of getting the word out,” she said. “There are a lot interested.”
Ichthys was passed unanimously through student and faculty senate, but is still awaiting approval from the president’s cabinet. If it passes the president’s cabinet, the decision will go before the president and the group will either become “official” or not.
Emily Geig is a contributing writer for Aviso AVW.