Today we have gathered to celebrate a liturgy to invoke the blessings of the Holy Spirit on this academic year. It is fitting that we gather in this Chapel, the architectural and liturgical center of our campus, to pray and reflect on the profound purpose of Saint Mary's College. A week ago we also celebrated a liturgy, commemorating the birth of Mary, for whom this College is named. A reading from the prophet Isaiah proclaimed on that day seems to me entirely appropriate for today's celebration:

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him –
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD

Today, we also ask that the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon each of us.

We ask first for the Spirit of wisdom, that we may discover wisdom in all we do and that wisdom be our guide as we together probe the mysteries of existence and meet challenges of this year and beyond.

Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC
President

We also ask for the Spirit of knowledge, as we search for truth in the diverse fields of study in our curriculum.

And we ask for the Spirit of counsel and understanding, which we need to build a healthy and respectful community fully engaged in the intellectual and spiritual journey at the heart of our mission. A respect for truth and a respect for the human person go hand in hand. As a Catholic and Lasallian institution of higher learning, we stand humbly today requesting the Spirit of the Lord to animate all that we do.

I offer each of you my best wishes for a fruitful and successful year, hoping that you enjoy the wonder of discovery, the joy of collaboration and the fruits of wisdom.

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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