One Body Seeking Wisdom at Mass of the Holy Spirit
“Live well. Love much. Laugh often.” These words at the beginning of the homily by Jesuit president Fr. Christopher Fronk, S.J., were fitting remarks for Blue Jays beginning the 2017-2018 school year. “Pretty simple, but at the same time it’s incredibly profound.”
Across the nation many Jesuit high schools and colleges begin their academic year by celebrating the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The Mass is a tradition among Jesuit institutions dating to 1548, in which the community gathers to seek guidance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit and to give thanks for the gifts of creation and salvation.
At this year’s opening Mass in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs, Fr. Fronk communicated the purpose of the solemn occasion and reiterated the three things for which students should seek the Holy Spirit’s help: “To live well, love much, and laugh often. The whole purpose of this is to ask the Holy Spirit to bless the endeavors of this academic year. But first, we have to be open to how the Spirit chooses to work in our lives. ”
Fr. Fronk explained what it means to live well by stating that “the glory of God is a person fully alive.” He went on to highlight the fact that the world is in need of people who are fully alive, and that the Holy Spirit helps people tap into the strengths, graces, blessings, and talents that are needed to make the world a better place.
“I hope while you are here, you learn to love God. I mentioned before that when I was growing up, I had a tough time with that. How do you love somebody you don’t see in front of you? How do you love something or some being that is not having a face-to-face conversation with you?” Fr. Fronk asked. “It’s really simple. Anytime you’ve seen love, anytime you’ve seen goodness, anytime you’ve seen the best the world has to offer—you’ve seen God. Don’t be afraid to recognize that…embrace that, and be grateful for it.”
Other Jesuit priests who work in the school were in attendance to concelebrate – Fr. Kevin Dyer, S.J., Fr. Billy Huete, S.J. ’71, Fr. John Brown, S.J., Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, S.J., and Fr. Don Saunders, S.J.
The Mass also featured the blessing of a new altar which adorns the sanctuary in the Chapel of the North American Martrys. Over the summer, the original marble flooring in the sanctuary was restored and the carpeted riser was removed. The new altar was constructed by Eddie Habisreitinger, a member of the maintenence staff, and was constructed and stained to match the existing pulpit in the chapel.
The renovations to the chapel are yet another cause for gratitude to God during the Mass of the Holy Spirit. As the school community begins another year at Carrollton and Banks, it is essential to celebrate the love of God, the bountiful gifts within this community, and the transforming grace of the Holy Spirit. This liturgy is a public commitment to a renewed trust in God’s Spirit, seeking out new ways to live out the mission of Jesuit High School, to do all things Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, “For the Greater Glory of God.”