| Outcry leads to cancellation
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Harvard University student group's plan to conduct a satanic ritual "black mass" May 12 on campus brought a public outcry, leading to its formal cancellation and an apparently impromptu off-campus version of the event, as well as a well-attended alternative Catholic holy hour.
The planned event had drawn wide criticism from religious leaders as well as students, alumni and faculty at Harvard.
As the organizers of the black mass scrambled to find an off-campus venue for their event, an estimated 2,000 Catholics and others gathered at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology before a eucharistic procession down Massachusetts Avenue to join the holy hour at St. Paul's Catholic Church.
Father Michael E. Drea, the senior Catholic chaplain at Harvard, thanked the participants in the holy hour, saying the light of Christ, represented by an Easter candle on the altar, invited believers to joy and peace in union with God.
"And that, my friends, is why we are here tonight praying, with trust and worship, in the presence of our risen savior under the appearance of bread," Father Drea said.
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