Starting The Year Right: Xavier’s Red Mass

by Matthew Yap (H4D)
Photos by the Stallion Photography Team

Last June 11, Friday, the Xavier High School unit held the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Sports Center to officially welcome the school year. The Mass of the Holy Spirit has been one of the most valued traditions Xavier has honored ever since its establishment. This year, Xavier has decided to change some aspects of the mass and opted to celebrate it at 4:30 in the afternoon instead of celebrating it in the morning. Furthermore, this is the first time Xavier School, San Juan has adopted the name: “The Red Mass” in order to emphasize the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Apostles during Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 9.59.36 AMAs one people, the High School community prayed for the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide it throughout the school year and to bestow upon it the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Presiding over the Eucharistic Celebration was none other than the School President, Fr. Aristotle Dy, S.J. Accompanying him were Campus Minister Fr. Xavier Olin S.J., School Chaplain Fr. Arturo Borja S.J., Fr. Candido Lim S.J., Fr. Sigmund de Guzman S.J., Fr. Guy Guibelondo S.J., Fr. Cesar Marin S.J., and Fr. EJ Gerilla S.J., a newly ordained Jesuit who will spend his priesthood in East Timor. Aside from the students, faculty and staff, Xavier Alumni also participated in the celebration.

To start off the mass, the student body offered seven banners, each containing one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, to commemorate the role of the Holy Spirit in the mission of the Apostles and to remind the participants of the traits they should live out in their lives as Christians. During the Holy Communion, each student was offered a strip of paper containing one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, namely: Wisdom to value things of God, Understanding to grasp Faith’s mysteries, Counsel to make wise decisions, Fortitude to strengthen one’s will, Knowledge to enlighten one’s mind, Piety to love and serve God, and Fear of the Lord to respect His Majesty. These strips of paper serve to encourage students to reflect on their lives and strive to work harder to embody these traits in the future. During the singing of the recessional song: “Shine Jesus Shine,” the students were treated to an amazing performance by none other than Xavier’s Dance X. To add to the festivity of the celebration, students were also invited to dance with them.

Xavier’s Red Mass was a meaningful event to start the new school year. The students gained a form of renewal and empowerment as Christians, very similar to how the Apostles and disciples were blessed by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

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