The University of Indianapolis’ Catholic Student Association held an event with over 300 students in attendance to learn and ask questions about exorcisms on Oct. 23. The CSA executives presented three videos from sources that explained the history and current uses of exorcisms. The event also featured guest speaker and Holy Name Catholic Church Priest, Father Bob Robeson, who prefers to go by Father Bob, and gave his insight on exorcism and its relation to the Catholic Church.
After showing the three videos, students were able to ask questions to the CSA board and Father Bob. Senior nursing major and CSA President Tiwin Chackochan said that having Father Bob present to verify the quality of the videos before the event and to field complicated questions during the event made him an important resource for the event.
“I really like how we came up with the idea,” Chackochan said. “It’s more interactive with discussion questions and we found really good videos online… I think he [Father Bob] brings a lot more insight… It’s good to have him to answer some of the questions and he screened the videos to make sure they were good.”
Chackochan said that CSA has had the idea to put on an event centered around exorcism for several years and felt that the Halloween season was an ideal time for it. The organization of the event was unlike many of their other regular events, according to Chackochan.
“All of our events are lecture [based],” Chackochan said. “We either talk about Mass, other catholic things or [the events] are like socials, so this is the first time we’ve had anything like this. We’ve never had a turnout like this… it was just more than we could ever expect.”
Among the people who attended the event in the Health Pavilion’s R. B. Annis Theater was sophomore software engineering major Annalie Ciszar. Ciszar said that because of her prior enjoyment of exorcism movies, she wanted to see how accurate movies were compared to the real life exorcisms.
“I think some of it seemed pretty accurate, and there [were] other things that didn’t seem accurate,” Ciszar said. “It left me with some questions about if there was any scientific proof for it and what that would be.”
Also in the audience was sophomore computer science major Braxton Laster. Laster said that he also has seen his fair share of horror films and that he was pleased to see some truth behind the ‘Hollywood magic.’
“It shone a good light and it made me realize that maybe Hollywood isn’t exaggerating their stories as much as I’d thought,” Laster said.
Laster said that he found the exorcism event to be very informative. Exorcism is a little more dramatic in the movies though, Father Bob said.
“I do think it’s important for the students here to understand that there is evil in the world and [it is] manifested in many ways,” Father Bob said. “It’s important for people to be aware of that and to try to do what they can to live in a way that pursues the good rather than evil.”