This week we kicked off the start of the new academic year. On Monday we welcomed the Class of 2016 to our school with orientation. The freshmen had a day of seeing the school, meeting their teachers and classmates, and getting to know about some of the opportunities available to them. I spoke with them about Saint Francis Inn and how they work they do (pray, serve, be together in community) is very similar to what we do. I also showed them the video of last year's March for Life to give them a sense as to what we do.
On Tuesday we had our Opening Mass of the year. The freshmen processed in and were seated in chairs while the upperclassmen were in their sections in the bleachers. The freshman bleacher section was empty and after Mass I told the freshmen that it shouldn't be empty anymore, that they should go take their place at Trinity High School. They all then filled the section in to loud applause from the other classes.
The Mass was celebrated by Father Jason Jalbert, the Director of the Office of Worship, the Director of Vocations, and Bishop Libasci's priest-secretary. He blessed the Bibles that the freshmen will use for Theology class and Mr. Mailloux '72 presented them to each freshman as we called them up. The Bible is the first of four symbols of our faith that they will receive over their years here. Next year they will get rosary beads, the following year a crucifix, and their final year a candle.
Following Mass the seniors all headed over to Saint Anselm College for their senior retreat. We start them off in the Sullivan Arena there as that is where we have our graduation ceremony. I told them that I wanted to start their year here as this is where it will end...what will they do in between? We then moved to the lower Church of the Abbey Church for some time for prayer and reflection. At one point I had them write a prayer for us to use for our morning prayers and some of them composed extraordinary ones.
All in all it was a very busy and tiring day but it's so good to be back in the swing of things.