Bishop celebrates Mass of the Holy Spirit

First slide

To mark the opening of the academic year, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde spoke of mercy and urged the community of Marymount University in Arlington to offer compassion, forgiveness and understanding to others during this year's Mass of the Holy Spirit at the school's Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel.

Bishop Loverde noted that Pope Francis has called for an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy to begin Dec. 8, 2015, and to conclude Nov. 20, 2016.

"So, I put before you, before each one of us - me included - the challenge: Become an authentic and credible disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of his church by living every day as a convincing herald of mercy," Bishop Loverde said during the homily.

The Mass of the Holy Spirit, a time-honored tradition dating to the 16th century, unites the campus in prayer and reflection at the beginning of each academic year. Father Brian Bashista, chaplain and director of campus ministry, and Father Jack Peterson, assistant chaplain, were concelebrants.

"It's a big part of our tradition as a faith-based institution to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we seek to know the truth of His creation in the upcoming academic year," Father Bashista said.

A luncheon followed the celebration.

President Matthew D. Shank noted that "having our shepherd on campus really picks up our spirit." Shank then invited the Marymount community to join him at daily Mass at the chapel.

"The bishop was very touched by that appeal and commented that President Shank was a model of faith," Father Bashista said. "It's one thing to encourage people to come to Mass. It's another thing to invite you to join them each morning."

Mass is typically celebrated at 7:30 a.m. and noon during the week at the Sacred Heart of Mary Chapel.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015