The Ave Maria University 2020-2021 Academic Year opened with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on Aug. 24, 2020.
Mass was celebrated outdoors on the Academic Mall in front of the Thomas & Shelby Prince Building, home of the St. Mother Teresa Museum, on the Feast of St. Bartholomew, an original Apostle who was brought to Jesus by the Apostle St. Philip.
As students and faculty spread out in the grass on the sunny and breezy evening, Bishop Dewane offered practical advice to the students on how they can follow a path which will allow them to grow closer to the Lord.
The advice from the Bishop included following the 10 Commandments, attend Mass, prayer to the Lord, and to engage in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Combined, if they were to do these few things in their lives will help them to become more the man or woman of God they are called to be.
For example, “It isn’t about picking and choosing the Commandments you wish and dismissing the others; it is a guidepost on how to live your life,” Bishop Dewane continued. “You are also called to go to Mass because you are children of God. You need to be there.”
The Bishop suggested that they students could increase their prayer time when walking to class or when they are alone and calling upon the Holy Spirit to guide them. Finally, completing the Corporal Works of Mercy are done to serve others in a direct response to the call of Jesus, while the Spiritual Works will help sustain their Faith life.
Citing the daily reading from the Gospel of John 1:45-51, when St. Philip invited St. Bartholomew to meet Jesus, Bishop Dewane told the students that St. Bartholomew is an example of how one must respond to the Lord. “He recognized the Lord, proclaiming ‘you are the Son of God and King of Israel.’ Open your heart to the Lord. Recognize the Son of God.”
The students must also follow the example of St. Philip by inviting their friends to meet the Lord by attending Mass. “We are all called to be evangelists. We do this by the example in how we live your lives in celebration of Our Savior.”
At the conclusion of Mass, new Ave Maria University President Christopher P. Ice took an Oath of Fidelity and gave a Profession of Faith before Bishop Dewane and the entire school community.
Ice thanked Bishop Dewane afterwards for supporting the university and ensuring that the Sacraments would be made available during the fall semester.
“Thank you,” Ice concluded. “Your leadership and support is inspiring.”