Community celebrates Marywood’s 104th Opening Liturgy


The Mass of the Holy Spirit. Photo credit: Erin Yeager

Erin Yeager

For the 104th year in a row, the Marywood community gathered together for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, otherwise known as the Opening Liturgy.

Those who attended gathered in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts for the 11 a.m. service on Wednesday. During this time, professors dismissed their students early so all were able to attend. Classes resumed at 1:15 p.m.

Marywood President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D gave her regular welcome to start off the new semester. After the liturgy, Persico said the gathering wasn’t a regular mass.

“The Opening Liturgy is a way to ask God to bless our year at school and bless all of our students,” Persico said. “With everything going on in the world, it’s really great to stand as a community at the beginning of the academic year.”

After Persico’s welcoming speech, Rev. Joseph P. Elston took over and began the service.

“It’s always an honor to be here,” Elston said. “No matter the faith of everyone in the room, you can always feel such a great deal of community and university pride.”

Associate Professor of English Dr. Erin Sadlack stood next to Persico and Elston on stage. After the mass, Sadlack said that the liturgy is a way to bring Marywood together not only as a school, but as a community.

“Regardless of faith and regardless of politics, [the Opening Liturgy] is a way to come together and to affirm all of our spirits that we are here for one another,” Sadlack said.

Afterwards, the Opening Picnic took place in the Calabro Delfino Amphitheatre. There, everyone enjoyed a variety of barbecue foods, drinks and fresh fruit.

“The weather is beautiful and the food is delicious,” Persico said. “Spirits are high and everyone is laughing. What could be a better start to the year?”

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