Christendom College begins 40th year with Mass of the Holy Spirit

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Christendom College in Front Royal began the school year with the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated by Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and concelebrated by Father Marcus A. Pollard, chaplain, Aug. 20.

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge challenged the students to be true disciples of Jesus Christ in a world that sees such a witness of faith as countercultural.

“To have Bishop Burbidge, our new bishop, invoking the Holy Spirit at this time of new beginning, and having the new women’s dormitory, is a source of tremendous joy." Timothy O'Donnell

During the Mass, 39 faculty members took the Oath of Fidelity to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. “It is a way for them to uphold the magisterium and teachings of the church,” said Zach Smith, public relations specialist at Christendom. “It shows the entire community where the focus is during the academic year.”

Senior Joe Wilson said he chose Christendom because it gave him a chance to grow in his Catholic faith and his academic life. 

“This Mass is really important because it shows our entire faculty and staff’s commitment to that Catholic faith, to helping us grow through our academics and as Catholics,” he said. 

After Mass, the congregation and clergy processed from the chapel to Christendom’s newest dormitory, St. Clare Hall for women, where Bishop Burbidge blessed the building. 

This year marks Christendom’s 40th anniversary. An academic convocation Sept. 9 will launch the celebration. Also this year, President Tim O’Donnell marks his 25th year at the helm. Plans are underway to celebrate his anniversary. 

“To have Bishop Burbidge, our new bishop, invoking the Holy Spirit at this time of new beginning, and having the new women’s dormitory, is a source of tremendous joy,” said O’Donnell. “Our hearts are full of gratitude.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017

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