XU celebrates Red Mass for new AY

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University President Fr. Mars P Tan, SJ presided over the Red Mass held at the XU University Church of the Immaculate Conception (XU-ICC) on Aug 23, 9AM. The Red Mass was celebrated with the purpose of calling upon the Holy Spirit’s guidance and grace for the new academic year.

The XU-ICC and XU’s official media sites extended their initiative with a live stream broadcast for those who could not physically attend the Eucharistic celebration given the current Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) status of the city.

Fr. Ij Chan-Gonzaga, SJ started the mass with his homily on the importance of a whispered prayer to the Holy Spirit for inspiration and guidance amidst the uncertainties and doubts of the coming year.

Gonzaga extends his prayers intending to embrace the Spirit, praying that it will grant us that humility and grace to recognize the present moment—that the lessons and disciplines we learn along the way hold meaning.

“For many times in your studies, in the excitement of many possibilities at tomorrow’s end on one hand or the frustrating constraints of learning by looking at thumbnails on a screen, on the other hand, you might leave no room to enjoy the journey,” stated Gonzaga. “To obsess with end goals, you might lose sight of the peripheries,” he added.

As for his second intention, Gonzaga remarked that we embrace the Spirit to recognize that we cannot allow our education to be simply for ourselves alone. He added, “Knowing that we are here to teach you [students], to learn and appreciate not just the cognitive gymnastics of theoretical discourse, but also, more importantly, the formative value of what it means to be fundamentally human. Open your hearts as well as you open your minds this school year.”

The Red Mass, also known as the Mass of the Holy Spirit, is celebrated annually in Jesuit academic institutions to mark the start of a new school year.C

Claire Ivy Vanguardia

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