Stonehill students, staff team up with HCFM for Year of Mercy celebration

By Dave Jolivet
Anchor Editor
davejolivet@anchornews.org

EASTON, Mass. — Since Pope Francis called for a Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8, 2015, many of the students at Stonehill College have embraced the Holy Father’s call to not only understand God’s mercy toward His children, but also to share that mercy with their brothers and sisters.

In a concrete display of extending God’s mercy to others, Stonehill students, employees, faculty and some Holy Cross Fathers are teaming up with their Easton neighbors, Holy Cross Family Ministries, to offer a special event, “Celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy,” on March 18, beginning at the campus quad at 4:35 p.m., and ending in the college’s Chapel of Mary.

“A while back we had a meeting of Holy Cross Fathers involved with Stonehill and that was the genesis of this wonderful event,” Holy Cross Father Anthony (Tony) V. Szakaly, director of Stonehill’s campus ministry, told The Anchor.

“We were thinking of how to answer the pope’s call and we came up with the Stations of the Cross, a perfect example of God’s mercy to His Children through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. We’re also incorporating Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”

The event begins at the campus quad at 4:35 p.m with the Stations of the Cross. “It sounds like an odd time to begin an event, but we have to keep in mind this is a Friday evening and we want school employees to be able to participate, and others around the diocese to be able to come, and also to keep in mind that students often have busy Friday nights.”

The 14 Stations will include Scripture references as well as an original meditation written by student and school groups, based on that Station regarding social justice in today’s world.

“We sent an email to all of the campus groups inviting them to take part in the evening,” said Father Tony. “Groups such as student affairs, campus police, the diversity group, the athletic department, employees, and students responded positively to the invitation. Many were very willing to take part.”

The Stations, save the last, will take place outdoors, “unless the weather is extremely inclement,” Father Tony added. The final station will take place in the Chapel of Mary. “The Chapel Choir will also assist providing Sacred music for praise and meditation.”

A light supper of soup and bread, at approximately 5:30 p.m. will take place in the Martin Center following the Stations. Those who wish to take part in the meal are asked to make reservations in advance.

The praise, Adoration and Reconciliation part of the celebration will follow the supper, at about 6:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Mary.

“We have a number of area youth ministers and groups, including some Cape Verdean groups, who will be taking part, and the invitation is open to all groups,” said Father Tony. “Groups planning on attending are also asked to RSVP. And we encourage all faithful across the Diocese of Fall River to attend any or all of the schedule of events.

“We’re hoping for a good attendance. This is a great Lenten practice. We have never done anything like this on campus before, and the students and staff have embraced it and we hope the surrounding community will as well.”

The event is free and open to all. Groups attending, and those who would like to participate in the fellowship of soup and bread are asked to RSVP by March 14 to Kimberly Cordeiro at 508-238-1551 or email: kcordeiro@stonehill.edu.

For more information contact the Holy Cross Family Ministries Office at 508-238-4095 or the Stonehill College Campus Ministry Office at 508-565-1487.

© 2017 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing  †  Fall River, Massachusetts