The Caldwell University community gathered for Mass of the Holy Spirit to pray for guidance in and inspiration in the new school year. Traditionally the Mass of the Holy Spirit is a symbol of the beginning of the academic year at a Catholic university.
Reverend James Manos, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, was the celebrant. “What are your gifts?” he asked of those in attendance. In order to know what God is calling one to do with his or her gifts, one has to be open to the spirit of God, said Father Manos.
Recalling the recent anniversary of 9-11, he spoke of Father Mychal Judge, the Franciscan priest and chaplain to the New York City Fire Department, who died ministering to people at the site of the World Trade Center attacks. During his lifetime, Father Judge ministered to alcoholics, those who had AIDS, migrants and the marginalized, said Father Manos. “He brought more and more people closer to God…He was open to the spirit of God.” Like Father Judge, we have to be open to what God is calling us to do, said Manos. At times it can be confusing, but if we sit quietly we will be able to hear God’s answer, he said.
Father Manos recalled the words of Father Judge who said “When I don’t know what’s next, I get down on my knees and pray, ‘Lord, take me, mold me, fashion me, show me what You want.’ Then I watch and listen and it will come.”
“So don’t fret,” said Manos. He told attendees they would get the answer if they were open to the Holy Spirit and God’s will.
President Nancy Blattner read a special blessing for the student-athletes, the resident life assistants, the Student Government Association officers and the university chorale.
Music Professor Laura Greenwald, members of the Caldwell University Chorale, accompanist Warren Helms, and cantor Rebecca Nee provided the music.