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The 2021 Mass of the Holy Spirit will take place on Sunday, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. at the Church of the Gesu. All are welcome.
The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a tradition among Jesuit academic institutions dating to 1548 in which the community gathers to thank God for the gifts of creation and salvation and to seek the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in the coming year.
At the celebration of a Mass of the Holy Spirit, we are asking the Holy Spirit to imbue all of our endeavors in the upcoming year with the fruits and gifts of the Spirit. Father John LaRocca, SJ, a history professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, explains the Mass of the Holy Spirit as “asking the Holy Spirit to be with all of the university community: all who learn here, all who teach here, all who work here to be able to see the presence of God in the world and within the subject matter we deal with.” We ask the Holy Spirit to be with us, to guide and direct us through our efforts during the year. Everyone in the university community is blessed by the Spirit when we pray and celebrate a Mass of the Holy Spirit.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder and awe in God’s presence. These gifts allow believers to be brought into fuller communion with God and see God's action in our relationships, our work, and every part of our lives. The entire university community comes together to pray for that wisdom for us and for each other through the intercession of the Spirit.
When we celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit, whether outside or in a slightly chillier Church of the Gesu, we are celebrating the work we will do in the coming months towards growing wiser, more prayerful, more articulate, and more joyful in the love of our God and the love of our neighbors. We celebrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit, remembering the words of Ignatius to “go forth and set the world afire” with a Spirit of love.