Mass of the Holy Spirit

Dear Loyola Community, 

I hope you will join me tomorrow at the Mass of the Holy Spirit, at 12:30 p.m., (instead of the usual 11:30 a.m.) at Holy Name of Jesus Church. I have heard for years about how moving and exciting our students have made this celebration and cannot wait to see my first one.  

We have much to be grateful for today after the storm passed us by. In events like these, we do not pray for the storm to hit elsewhere, and we do not believe that God aims hurricanes at us at all. Instead, we pray for the strength to survive challenges. We pray for safety and protection. We pray for the courage and conviction to help each other, not just in a crisis, but every day.

I hope that all of you, regardless of faith or tradition, will take time away from your day tomorrow. For me, the ritual of Mass helps me quiet my usual state of anxious activity and listen to the “still small voice.”  It helps me take time to remember my values and my purpose, to recalibrate my life so it aligns with the person I hope to be.   

And this Mass helps us remember who we are collectively.  For 470 years, Jesuit academic institutions have come together with a Mass of the Holy Spirit to renew our sense of purpose and to celebrate — the gifts we have in each other and the graciousness of God.  Tomorrow offers us a chance to revel in the collective joy of the choir and the dancers, to hold hands during the Our Father, and to hug each other for the sign of peace.

We will also have the chance to be inspired. Our own Assistant Professor of Art History and beloved Jesuit, Father Gregory Waldrop, S.J., Ph.D., will take his final vows, and he has chosen to share that precious moment with all of us.  In becoming a fully incorporated member of the Society of Jesus, he has chosen a life of faith and reason, of years of study and discipline, of sacrifice and community.  Few of us will ever make a commitment so total, and all of us will be reminded that we can do so much more.   

Moments like these are what makes Loyola special, deeper, richer.  You won’t want to miss it.

Tania Tetlow