Jesuit readies for the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit

Plank Article Klarenz Basco ’22

On Thursday, Aug. 26, and Friday, Aug. 27 Jesuit High School Sacramento will celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit, an annual Mass celebrated across all Jesuit schools. This Liturgy will be the first time students gather together in person for Mass since schools shut down due to COVID-19 back in March 2020. 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Liturgy is split into two days, with freshmen and seniors celebrating on Thursday and sophomores and juniors on Friday. The Presider for the Mass on Thursday will be Father Perry Petrich S.J. and for Friday’s Mass, Director of Liturgy Workshop, Father Aaron Engebretson S.J. with the reflection given by Principal Dr. Michael Wood ’99.

The Mass of the Holy Spirit is also not exclusive to just one Jesuit school, but all Jesuit schools, creating a big relationship. Jesuit is a part of a big network of schools and students should recognize that they are a part of something bigger.

“It helps connect us with all of the other Jesuit schools, so we do take a moment to name and remember all of the Jesuit schools on the west coast,” Fr. Engebretson said. “It is a way of letting the boys know that they are part of something much larger than just this one school.”

Also included in the Mass of the Holy Spirit is an important tradition at Jesuit, the presentation and lighting of class candles and the class colors. 

“We welcome the seniors with the color white, the juniors with the color red, the sophomores with the color black, and the freshmen with the color gold, representing the gifts that we hope to see each of those classes display,” Fr. Engebretson said.

According to Dr. Wood, the readings for the Mass will be from Philippians and the Gospel of Matthew and touches on the topic of worry. Dr. Wood explains what he wants students to gain from his reflection. 

“A lot of it is talking about the idea of worry, about what happens when we worry,” Dr. Wood said. “What I want them to focus and consider is how they can make the choice to find more joy and happiness in their lives, and choose joy, happiness, and peace which can be difficult sometimes especially if we worry too much.”

For this special Mass, there is a lot to take away, one of the most significant takeaways is to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, Director of Campus Ministry Mr. LeBoeuf hopes students recognize this focus. 

“We are all one,” Mr. LeBeouf said. “We’re one. No matter what religious tradition a person comes from, to look outward and say I need help to be the best person I can become and the spirit can give me that strength to maybe do that a little bit better.”

Fr. Engebretson also believes in the importance of looking towards the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction.

“We believe the gift of human understanding and wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit, we are asking for the Holy Spirit’s graces as we begin our learning together,” Fr. Engebretson said.

Celebrating Mass together as a community is something Jesuit values. Parents are an integral part of that community and are welcome to join in the Mass of the Holy Spirit. 

“Our families are invited, and we welcome our parents into this as well,” Dr. Wood said. “It is always wonderful to have parents celebrate Eucharist with us because they are such an important part of our community as well.” 

As Jesuit fully transitions into in-person learning and a new sense of community and normality is established, students will hopefully gain new understandings and ask for the guidance they need at the Mass of the Holy Spirit to prepare for the rest of the school year.