The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, celebrated Marymount University’s Mass of the Holy Spirit on September 7, with concelebrants Father David Sharland, Y.A., director of Campus Ministry, and Father Jack Peterson, Y.A., assistant director of Campus Ministry. The Mass is a time-honored tradition at Catholic colleges across the nation that brings campus communities together in prayer and reflection at the start of each academic year.
Marymount President Matthew D. Shank thanked Bishop Loverde for leading the celebration and noted, “We are here to pray for a safe, productive, and peaceful year. It is a time of renewal and a time to thank God for the many gifts we have been given.” Citing St. Paul, he observed, “We each have different gifts, but they all come from the Holy Spirit. And the most important gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift of love.”
Bishop Loverde took the opportunity at the start of Mass to welcome Dr. Shank, who is new to Marymount, saying that he looks forward to working with him in the years ahead. The Bishop also recognized the community’s indebtedness to the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Marymount’s founding order.
In his homily, Bishop Loverde called upon the Holy Spirit to “inspire and guide us as we enter a new academic year” that will provide “opportunities for our deeper penetration of the truth.” He stressed, “We need wisdom, enlightenment, hope, and perseverance so that we may become more capable of advancing a civilization of life and love. The source of all these gifts is the Holy Spirit.”
To achieve a grace-filled life, Bishop Loverde urged the congregation to establish a deep personal relationship with God within the community of disciples, the Church, and also, “to be a witness to Christ and for Christ.” He emphasized, “The Holy Spirit will inspire and direct us, if we will let Him. Let us open our hearts to his influence and power.”