Published on September 2nd, 2021 | by University Communications


Saint Leo community joins in Mass of Holy Spirit to begin new academic year

The Saint Leo University community joined in the celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Thursday, September 2, in the tradition of Catholic colleges dating back to 16th century. Abbot Isaac Camacho welcomed all the new students and was appreciative of all those who attended, especially those who are not Catholic. Mass was celebrated in the Saint Leo Abbey Church and livestreamed on the Saint Leo Abbey’s Facebook page. (The recording of the Mass can be found there).

Father Randall Meissen, university chaplain, echoed the abbot’s welcome. “Here at Saint Leo University, we are a diverse community coming together this morning from many nations around the globe, many walks of life, many beliefs and world views, but united in a common love, in a shared project—building a university that is strong, that is greater than the sum of its parts, that is a force of good within this world,” Meissen said.

Invoking the Holy Spirit, Meissen said, “Saint Leo students and community, I pray that you never be indifferent,” Meissen continued. “Don’t be passive. Don’t be lukewarm. Light a fire within your hearts. The pursuit of wisdom and learning is a choice. . .Come out of your rooms, come out of your comfort zones, and let your light burn brightly this year before all.”

Political science faculty member Frank Orlando served as lector for the Mass, reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Colossians (1:9-14), which prays to God and asks to be filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding and to lead lives that are worthy.

Camacho, a Saint Leo alumnus and member of the Saint Leo University Board of Trustees, said, “As a community, the first reading reflects a blessing to you, who all work and study at the university. Not only here, but all over the world.”

University President Jeffrey D. Senese explained the significance of beginning the year with the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The Mass marks the beginning of the Fall Semester, and likewise, the year ends with the Baccalaureate Mass, which celebrates the soon-to-graduate students.

“We dedicate ourselves to the Holy Spirit, and we seek God’s guidance and grace as a community,” he noted.

“Thank you all for being here this morning; your presence and your prayers strengthen our university community,” Senese said. “May all of you enjoy a very productive year and may God’s blessings be yours.”

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