The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the opening mass and first event of Cabrini week, took place in the Bruckmann Memorial Chapel on Sunday, Nov. 9.
The ceremony opened with singing by volunteer members of Cabrini’s choir, accompanied by the sounds of guitar, piano and drums. Smiles were among everyone’s faces as the chapel seats filled for the liturgy.
This event was more than a regular ceremony that takes place every Sunday in the chapel on campus. The reflections by Rev. Michael Bielecki and Sr. Bernadette Anello, one of the Missionary
Sisters of the Heart on campus, were inspirational as they spoke of the Lateran Basilica in Rome as well as Cabrini week.
Bielecki acknowledged the 28 students who participated in a retreat in the Poconos earlier that day. In referring to those involved, “I would be proud to be the parent of anyone of those students,” Bielecki said.
“In the Catholic tradition, any kind of event is started by mass to celebrate commencement,” Bielecki said. “The Eucharist means Thanksgiving, so we gather to give thanks so that we do not take God’s gifts for granted.”
“Tonight we heard that the dedication of Saint John Lateran Basilica in Rome is the reason why we declared a feast today,” Anello said. “And I think that many of us seem to think that a Basilica in Rome is rather removed from us, as we come here in Radnor Township at Cabrini College. But that dedication and the commemoration of it provides a focus to all of us as we begin this Cabrini week.”
“This is the first event, this mass, to open up the week, and throughout the week there will be numerous activities,” Anello said. “All that will be happening this week, every meeting, every conference, every workshop, every presentation and every celebration will be a teachable moment to tell us and to remind us, who we are and what we are about.”
Following the reflections of Bielecki and Anello, a mass ceremony proceeded, including readings from the Gospel, hymns, the Eucharistic prayer, the Communion and Concluding Rites.
Lastly, Dr. Marie Angelella George spoke briefly about her excitement for the upcoming week, as well as her inauguration as the seventh president of Cabrini College on Nov. 15. She said she wished that all students would attend the events throughout the week.
After the liturgy ended, students, parents, staff and faculty gathered together in the chapel to come together and embrace one another.
“The homily was very inspirational,” Laura Henessy, senior biology major, said.
“Tonight was a different atmosphere. It was good to see everyone come together,” Kerry Allaire, sophomore elementary education major, said.
“Last night, the Cabrini missionaries were here, we had Cabrini Sisters here, we had faculty, staff and alumni and our students,” Christa Angeloni, campus minister, said. “And as I looked around I realized I saw the entire Cabrini Community, which is what Cabrini week is all about.”