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Bishop Burbidge consecrates new altar at Catholic University

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WASHINGTON — In the chapel, a mural depicting Jesus holding a book inscribed with the university's motto — "Deus Lux Mea Est" ("God is my light") — resides above a blue-domed tabernacle, a small-scale homage to the basilica dome only yards away.

 

Flanking the tabernacle are statues of Our Lady of Fatima, resplendent in a crown, and St. Joseph, carrying the infant Jesus. Among the figures portrayed in the chapel's stained-glass windows is businessman Enrique Shaw of Argentina, a candidate for sainthood who encouraged business growth in accord with Catholic social justice teaching.

 

Against this backdrop, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington blessed the altar of the new chapel in Maloney Hall, home of The Catholic University of America's Tim and Steph Busch School of Business.

 

Joining Bishop Burbidge for Mass and consecration of the altar March 18 were students, faculty and staff, as well as several priests from the Catholic University community.

 

The Busch School of Business was launched as an independent school within the college in June 2018. The chapel will serve as a venue for daily Mass and conventional prayer so students of business can be "lead to genuine encounters with Christ" as they go about their studies and daily life, according to the school's website.

 

Bishop Burbidge seemed to agree with that statement during his homily, where he emphasized the altar's role in "reminding (us) who we are and what we believe," as well as in helping students to appreciate that all Catholics "continue this earthly journey never alone."

 

The altar provides "us a chance to rededicate ourselves, our work and our studies," Bishop Burbidge noted, expressing his hope that all those who worship there "remember that (their) purpose ... is to serve the Lord ... and those most in need."

 

Bishop Burbidge concluded his homily with a strong commission: "We are called to radiate Christ to one another."

 

After the Mass, Bishop Burbidge told Catholic News Service he was pleasantly surprised that "in a business school ... a major priority is the chapel," again relating the importance of being able "to go forth and apply" what is learned in a business setting to the higher purpose of a Christian mission.

 

Father Fred Close, pastor of the nearby St. Anthony of Padua Church, told CNS that he found it uniquely thoughtful that a chapel would serve as the centerpiece of the university's business institution. "Business is good," Father Close maintained, "but you can misunderstand the purpose of making money. ... Business is about service."

 

Father Close also found the decision to dedicate the chapel to St. Michael an "encouraging choice" because the saint will serve as a source of protection for the students.

 

Joshua Barri, a sophomore in the Busch School of Business, mentioned to CNS his excitement that business and faith would be so closely integrated in Maloney Hall from now on, specifically noting the chapel's placement in the center of the building.

 

"Such a central location ... will really bring the Catholic faith into business" he said, affirming that the school would continue to turn out "good Catholic businessmen and businesswomen."

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019