“Go forth and set the world on fire.” The words of St. Ignatius Loyola were the final words of the homily for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, a Jesuit tradition celebrated by members of the St. Ignatius High School community on Aug 30 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Father Dan Schlegel, diocesan secretary and vicar for clergy and religious who is a 1979 St. Ignatius graduate, delivered a homily in which he drew comparisons between the musical composition and faith. Just as people are drawn into a good song with catchy lyrics and melody, we should be drawn into our faith.
In keeping with the school’s motto, Father Schlegel called upon those present to take ad maiorem Dei gloriam – for the greater glory of God -- into the community. “Everything you do, everything you say, everything you are is not for yourself, but for the greater glory of God.”
Bishop Nelson Perez joined priests of the St. Ignatius community in the sanctuary. In remarks prior to the end of Mass, the bishop reminded all to be grateful for the gifts that God has given to them. “I hope that in your hearts you feel incredible amounts of gratitude to almighty God to how he shows his love to you.”
The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a tradition dating back to 1582, as Jesuit-sponsored academic institutions come together to thank God and ask him to bless the coming year. This year also marks the first time that members of the newly opened Welsh Academy were present for the all-school Mass. Bishop Perez blessed the first class of Welsh students and their high school “big brothers” during the liturgy.
The academy opened its doors to 21 students earlier this month. Built from the vision of former Ignatius High School president Father Robert J. Welsh, S.J., the academy offers education rooted in Jesuit ideals and Catholic theology for urban middle-school boys.