The Loyola community gathered in Xavier Center on Friday, Sept. 15, to celebrate the first liturgy of the year, the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Wearing the color red to symbolize the Holy Spirit, the Rev. Fr. Gregory Goethals, S.J. ’73, celebrated the Mass, and principal Frank Kozakowski delivered the reflection.
Goethals said, “The Mass of the Holy Spirit is the kickoff Mass for the entire year. We [the Loyola community]are asking the Holy Spirit to bring down His gifts so that we can become the school that we are supposed to be.”
Co-Director of Campus Ministry Matthew Schaeffer, who led the choir, explained how the Mass of the Holy Spirit is essential for a Jesuit community like Loyola to hear at the beginning of the year.
Schaeffer said, “When the Loyola community meets for the first time in a school year, it isn’t an assembly or a pep rally. We come together to celebrate Mass.”
Unlike other schoolwide homilies, which are normally given by the priests, the reflection for the Mass of the Holy Spirit was given by Kozakowski. Briefly reflecting on the events of summer, Kozakowski introduced many new themes, including the importance of communication in the Loyola community.
Kozakowski said, “We [the individuals in the Loyola community]are all very different. Thank God we are different. We really celebrate all those differences here. However, differences create tension, and the best way to alleviate this tension is through communication.”
Further elaborating on the significance of communication, Kozakowski advised Loyola students to be thoughtful when using social media. He also urged students to stand up for all those who are persecuted, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or of any other religion; in short, he stated that love should transcend the barriers of religious prejudice. In a time when racial prejudice is also heavily prevalent in society, Kozakowski urged Loyola students to never accept or promote racism.
According to Schaeffer, the Mass connects the Loyola community to Jesuit brothers and sisters around the world. Guided by the strength of the Holy Spirit, the Loyola community is ready to begin a school year of hard work, integrity and growth.
The next Loyola Mass of the school year will be on Wednesday, Nov. 1, to celebrate All Saints Day.