VERONICA NOVOTNY & ESTELLE MANDEVILLE
On Thursday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m., Holy Thursday Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, in the Finnegan Fieldhouse. The Rev. Shibin Kurian, TOR, gave a homily connecting the washing of the feet to both a humble God and Jewish priestly ordination. He also gave an exhortation for the congregation to pray for priests. Mass was followed by a candlelight Eucharistic procession to Christ the King Chapel for Eucharistic adoration.
A group of more than 20 students led the campus community in a prayerful living stations of the cross in the Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. on Good Friday, April 19. The group had rehearsed since the beginning of the semester, and its hard work paid off in the seamless acting-out of scenes and tableaus that added to Franciscan’s experience of the Lord’s Passion.
Also on Friday morning at 9 was morning prayer in the chapel of the Holy Spirit Friary. The Rev. Matthew Russick, TOR, led the Office of Readings and morning prayer for Good Friday. Keeping a solemn remembrance of the day in which Christ lay in the tomb, the TOR friars also hosted morning prayer the next day with students and families packed into the friary chapel.
The way of the cross, organized by Communication and Liberation, was held on Good Friday at noon, starting in Christ the King Chapel and moving across campus. It ended back at Christ the King Chapel.
The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord was celebrated in the Fieldhouse on Friday at 3 p.m. by Russick, who gave a homily on the joys and sorrows of the cross. The gospel was sung by Russick and the Good Friday choir.
The Rev. Nathan Malavolti, TOR, celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass the next day and confirmed seven confirmandi, four of whom came into the Catholic Church for the first time.
A memorable moment came at the end of the liturgy, when Malavolti gave his thanks to those who put much time, energy and effort both into the celebration of the Triduum and into campus life at large. The congregation gave an enthusiastic standing ovation when Malavolti particularly thanked Sheridan, who recently stepped down from his position as the university’s president, for his service to Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Junior Mary Louise Kohser said, “The Easter Vigil is an opportunity for us to worship God … and it’s a time for us to rejoice that God had saved us, that God has redeemed us and that God will come again and we can rest in his love. (Today was) an extremely spiritual opportunity for me to glorify the Lord and worship with my whole heart and whole being.”
Following the Easter Vigil, the annual Resurrection Party drew students, faculty and other members of the Franciscan community to the J.C. Williams Center until the early hours of Easter morning.
Bob Lesnefsky, assistant director of household life, coordinated the event usually referred to as the “Res Party,” which included pizza, sandwiches, live music and a plethora of balloons.
Posters and T-shirts bearing an image of the Sacred Heart and the letters “G.O.A.T.,” standing for “greatest of all time,” could be seen throughout the J.C. The 2019 Res Party served to remind students that Jesus Christ himself is the greatest person of all time and that his resurrection from the dead merits the greatest party of all time.