"Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love." This prayer to the Holy Spirit reminds us that the new academic year is beginning here at Catholic University. On September 2, the University community gathers to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit with His Eminence, Wilton Cardinal Gregory, archbishop of Washington and chancellor of Catholic University.

This gathering of the People of God — a long-held University tradition that has marked the beginning of every academic year for generations of students — reminds us that we are united in our pursuit of truth and value the myriad of cultures that make us a universal community of higher learning. We come from almost every state of the union and 37 countries. Diverse languages and customs can be heard and seen around campus among friends and classmates. At the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, the common language of divine love unites us as one people. During the Mass, we are at our best — reflecting the beauty of the Body of Christ and entrusting our academic year to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

We are united in our pursuit of truth and value the myriad of cultures that make us a universal community of higher learning.

—Rev. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv.

The celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not just a fine University tradition. It also defines who we are and why we are a part of this academic community. The dignity of each person, made in the image and likeness of Christ, is made manifest in the breaking of the bread because Christ freely gives Himself to us in the Eucharist.

This celebration of Holy Mass does not exclude others from our University community. It is precisely because we celebrate the dying and rising of Jesus at Mass that we welcome others to be a part of our community. Christ commands each of us to love one another "as I have loved you." We welcome women and men of all faith traditions, trusting that the Church's wisdom and love will shape their personal worldview throughout their lives. The Holy Spirit invites us to treasure each person's unique giftedness and experience as we study, learn, and grow together.

The world in which we live is divided in so many ways. The Catholic University of America community looks forward to an academic year in which our differences do not divide and our unity does not lessen our uniqueness. We are one in our pursuit of truth and love, and unique in our reflection of His beauty. Let us pray for the inspiration of the Spirit in everything we say and do.

Published on: Thursday, September 2, 2021

Tags: Campus Ministry, Holy Day