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The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

Opening Liturgy Inspires Chestnut Hill College Community

Opening Liturgy Inspires Chestnut Hill College Community

During the College's mass, portraits of Pope Francis and St. Pope John XXIII were blessed
Cristina Diaz '15

The College community gathered in mid-September for CHC’s annual Opening Liturgy and celebrated the theme, “Love is Our Mission.”

“Go out of your way to love,” said Father Robert Mulligan, OSFS, in his homily. “Be a friend.”

Love, community and tradition were some of the topics highlighted in the Mass.

As a call to prayer, students brought lace, an empty vessel and a candle to the altar. The lace symbolizes the College’s connections to the Sisters of Saint Joseph in France, the vessel symbolizes that we are empty looking to be filled with the love of God and the candle is a symbol of how we can be the light in encounters with one another and in the world.

“Gathering as a community for prayer and liturgy calls us to truly be one,” says Joannie Cassidy, SSJ, director of campus ministry. “By encouraging and empowering students, faculty and staff to share their talents, we enrich and give life to the liturgy.”

Members of the community shared their musical talents, gave readings and shared reflections.

Joseph Hamersly ’16 spoke about the love he felt during his time at CHC and how important it is to love both inside and outside of the College.

“As I have been loved at Chestnut Hill College, so I go forward and touch a world in need of love,” said Hamersly.

Portraits of St. Pope John XXIII and Pope Francis were blessed during the liturgy. They will join the College’s portrait of St. Pope John Paul II as a testament to the Catholic tradition and foundations of the College. 

“Like us, both popes have an active, inclusive love from whom we do not separate ourselves,” said President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.

The Opening Liturgy sets the spiritual tone for the academic year and encourages the College Community to incorporate the theme into everyday life.

 “There was a tangible spirit,” says Sister Joannie. “There was a joy in the 150 that gathered, and this joy will be the spark that will ignite the unfolding of this year.”

—Cristina Diaz ’15