Rev. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ kneels at the altar of Saint Ignatius Loyola Church while the Very Rev. John J. Cecero, SJ, Provincial of the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus, missions him as the 23rd President of Regis High School.
The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a tradition among Jesuit academic institutions in which the school community gathers to thank God for the gifts He has given and to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in the coming year. This year's Mass, which marked the 103rd for the Regis High School community, included a special Missioning ceremony for Rev. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ as he was installed as the school's 23rd president.
THE PROVINCIAL'S CHARGE
The Very Rev. John J. Cecero, SJ, Provincial for the USA Northeast Society of Jesus, served as principal celebrant for the Mass.
"As with the presidents before you, your charge goes far beyond budgets and buildings, finances and fundraising. You have as your charge to ensure the Jesuit character of the work—a work that at its core exists Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam—for the greater glory of God," said Fr. Cecero during the Missioning ceremony, which immediately followed the reading of the Gospel.
"To achieve the ideals of Jesuit education, to keep Regis High School growing, several things are crucial for your leadership as president. The first and most essential is for you to be a man of prayer. The Examen, the Spiritual Exercises, and the Eucharist must be a regular part of your life. It will be hard to lead well without them.
"Gratitude was a most important value for Ignatius because it is the only appropriate response to God's goodness to us and it must be a regular part of who we are and what we do. At Regis it is who you are and what you do as gratitude is at the very heart of the Regis story. Without the singular generosity of the Foundress and her family, we would not be here today."
(Pictured: Fr. Cecero blesses Fr. Lahart during the missioning ceremony. Read the full text of the missioning ceremony.)
FR. LAHART'S HOMILY
Following the Missioning ceremony, during which Margaret Florentine (Provincial Assistant for Middle and Secondary Education) and Fr. Cecero alternated the reading of the Missioning text and prayer, Fr. Lahart delivered the homily for the Mass. The moment marked his first opportunity to preach to the Regis community, and he began by posing a question.
"What do we—you and I—what do we deserve? Let's start with a simple answer to that question: nothing. If we believe that all that we have is gift, then we really deserve nothing, and then we can recognize that life and all that flows from it is a gift from God and we don’t by right deserve any of it. I don't deserve this job, and you didn't deserve to get into Regis.
"This morning's scriptures are filled with images of God's gifts to us… As we together start this new year, I invite us all to recognize God's gifts to us and respond first with gratitude and second with generosity. While some other time we can and should nuance the question of what we deserve by considering rights and responsibilities, let's begin now with the often neglected fact that all is gift.
"Blessed with the Holy Spirit, we ask, 'What sort of year will this be?' As you deserve? Better than you deserve? This year will be better than any of us deserve. And for this we are grateful. And how do we respond? Generously! We remember that to whom much is given, much is expected."
(Pictured: Fr. Lahart delivers the homily to the Regis community during the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Read the full text of Fr. Lahart's homily.)
PRESENTATION OF THE PRESIDENT'S CHAIN OF OFFICE
Before the final prayer and on behalf of the Regis Board of Trustees, Mr. Peter Labbat '83, Board Chair, addressed the Regis community and presented to Fr. Lahart the Presidential Chain of Office, a centennial gift to Regis from Xavier High School.
"Beginning with Fr. David Hearn, SJ, our founding president, the medallions on this chain contain the names and tenures of all those who have served Regis in the office of president," said Labbat.
"The chain honors the now 23 Jesuits who for more than a century have sustained the vision of Fr. Hearn and the extraordinary generosity of the Foundress and her family which gave life to that vision."
Fr. Cecero was joined by an additional fourteen priests who concelebrated this year's Mass of the Holy Spirit. The concelebrants included Fr. Phil Judge, SJ '80 (the 21st President), Fr. Jim Croghan, SJ (the 22nd President), and Fr. Ken Boller, SJ (President of Saint Peter’s Preparatory). Mr. Jack Raslowsky, President of Xavier High School, also attended the Mass.
The Mass was recorded by Telecare TV and will be broadcast on Saturday, September 10 at 4:00 p.m. both on television and online. (View details on how to watch the Mass.)
Regis High School is thankful for the support of all those who helped celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit and the Missioning of the 23rd President. Special thanks to the Very Rev. John J. Cecero, SJ (Provincial, USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus); Rev. Dennis J. Yesalonia, SJ (Pastor, St. Ignatius Loyola Parish); Mr. Scott Warren (Director of Music at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola); the staff of St. Ignatius Loyola for their generous assistance; Nicholas Drury '18 (who contributed photographs to this news article); the students, faculty, and staff of Regis High School and all those who contributed to our liturgy.
With the assistance of Fr. Jim Croghan, SJ, Mr. Peter Labbat '83, Chair of the Regis Board of Trustees, presents Fr. Lahart with the Presidential Chain of Office.
Members of the Regis Schola perform during the Mass of the Holy Spirit.
Christopher Castaldi-Moller '17 sings the Responsorial Psalm during the Mass of the Holy Spirit.
In addition to Fr. John Cecero, SJ, fourteen priests concelebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit. They include: Fr. Art Bender, SJ '67; Fr. Phil Judge, SJ '80; Fr. Dan Lahart, SJ; Msgr. Joseph Mulqueen '49; Fr. Anthony SooHoo, SJ '93; Fr. Joseph O'Keefe, SJ; Fr. Mario Powell, SJ; Fr. Jim Keenan, SJ; Fr. Fred Pellegrini, SJ; Fr. Ken Boller, SJ; Fr. Ian Gibbons, SJ; Fr. Mark Lane, CO; Fr. Jim Croghan, SJ; and Fr. Anthony Andreassi, CO.