On September 18, Fairfield Prep celebrated its annual Mass of the Holy Spirit which marks the beginning of the academic year. The Mass 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. For the first time, Mass was celebrated in the Pelletier Quad. This was a special year in that we missioned the 17th President of Fairfield College Preparatory School, Christian J. Cashman. The principal celebrant was Rev. Joe Parkes, S.J., Provincial Assistant for Pre-Secondary and Secondary Education for USA East Province of the Society of Jesus.
Following the missioning ceremony, Mr. Cashman offered powerful and poignant remarks. In his address, he reflected on “where I feel the Holy Spirit is with us in this moment, and where we are being led by the Spirit as we look ahead.” Mr. Cashman encouraged the school community to embrace its Catholic and Jesuit mission in light of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He was also poignant in speaking to the challenges we are facing as a larger society:
“Certainly we are called to LOVE each other through this time of pandemic. To be LOVING in our Catholic and Jesuit faith tradition also calls us beyond our insulated walls out into the world—a world in need of healing. We know that our nation, and our global community, are convulsed and in anguish over the mistreatment and injustices perpetrated against black Americans. We know that our black and brown skinned brothers and sisters, and the marginalized in our country and around the globe, cry out for justice and mercy.”
Mr. Cashman’s call to action was clear: “As men and women for and with others, our call—dare I say—our mandate— is to reach out in love and justice!”
View a gallery of the day by clicking the image below.
View a recording of Mr. Cashman's speech
View a recording of the full Mass below
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