Mass of the Holy Spirit Marks the Beginning of the Academic Year

The Saint Mary's College community marked the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year with the Mass of the Holy Spirit on September 15 in the Chapel. During the colorful Mass, the community asked for the inspiration, guidance and presence of God's Spirit in all of our campus activities.

The Mass began with a procession of administrators, faculty, staff and scores of students representing campus groups, from diversity organizations to athletic teams. Invocations representing some of the campus' diverse faith traditions, including Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Christian/Episcopalian were delivered by Rabbi Harry Manhoff, Saroja Subrahmanyan, Dr. Ali Rezapour, and Mother Terry Gilmore.

Brother President Ronald Gallagher addressed the congregation, calling on the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of knowledge, and the spirit of counsel and understanding to guide the community during the academic year. "A respect for truth and a respect for the human person go hand in hand," he said.

Father Salvatore Ragusa, assistant director for liturgy and prayer, gave a homily about how Jesus, guided by the Holy Spirit, fulfilled his "mission statement":

"to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives,
to bring sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim a year of the Lord's favor."

He also touched on the theme of the Mass, quoting Pope Benedict's statement that "unity is the sign of recognition, the 'calling card' of the church."

Student musicians provided the musical accompaniment and led the singing during the Mass, which ended with a blessing as the community rededicated itself to Saint Mary's mission.

Read Brother Ronald's address to the congregation.