Households called to practice charity in new semester

Staff Writer

Choruses of “Lift High the Banners of Love” and cheers for each household banner filled Finnegan Fieldhouse on Jan. 17 as Franciscan University of Steubenville Household Life kicked off the spring semester with the bi-semester Household Life Mass.

University president, the Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, introduced the main celebrant, Bishop Andreas Laun, a very outspoken prolife bishop of the Diocese of Salzburg, Austria.

The Rev. Gregory Plow, TOR, coordinator of household life, read the Gospel and delivered the homily, giving households three challenges for the semester.

Plow encouraged each member of household to unite with their household brothers and sisters by acting in charity with them, because “charity is linked to Christ and the Word of God.”

“We get into the idea that if we follow the commandments, than we’re perfect and when we die, we’ll go to heaven,” Plow said. “You can obey the commandments and not follow Jesus. Follow Jesus and you will receive treasures in heaven. We have to follow Jesus before, during, and after charity, or else it’s just social work.”

Plow encouraged household members to pray with each other and especially be present during the Lord’s Day celebration. He said that Lord’s Day is a chance for a household to unite and drink from the same cup, growing the gifts of the spirit while “asking the Holy Spirit to come while in prayer with household.”

Finally, Plow encouraged households to accept everyone who joins household, because they share the same love of the household covenant and charisms that prompted each member to join. While disagreements among members do occur, he said, members do still have to love each other by acting curiously, and not gossiping.

“Gossiping is a colorless, odorless poison that kills,” he said.

Next year will mark 40 years since former president Michael Scanlon formed households on campus to enrich the Catholic environment. Plow insisted that the celebration should not be a celebration of household life, but a celebration of “the Holy Spirit’s 40 years of activity in household.”

Households began as a way to encourage students to create a link between their academic and faith lives at Franciscan University, but have since grown to become a very significant part of part of campus life.

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