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University Community Celebrates the Feast of St. Francis de Sales

by David Oblas Jan 24, 2019
Feast Day

The DeSales community joined together to celebrate our University patron’s feast day. January 24 marks the official day of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, however, we have already been celebrating in a number of ways this week. 

The week of festivities started out with a day of service. Monday, January 21, was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and our students, faculty, and staff honored Dr. King by helping those less fortunate in the local community.

  • Student Life took students to Raub Middle School, of the Allentown School District, to help improve their gym and beautify the school.
  • Our community got together and made hospitality bags for the homeless that included sandwiches, toiletries, and winter items.
  • Student Life screened the movie Selma, followed by a group reflection on the film.

The official kickoff of Feast Week happened on Tuesday evening with Salesian Bingo, where students were delighted to see their favorite Oblate priests and brothers calling out the winning numbers.

Feast Day Eve, Wednesday, saw an overwhelming showing of support from staff, faculty, and students as our president, Fr. Jim Greenfield, OSFS, addressed the University community on important matters for 2019 and beyond in his inaugural State of the University address.

The address was followed by an Evening Prayer and Reception at Wills Hall Chapel, presided by Maggie Riggins, director of Campus Ministry. Dr. Amy Scott, associate professor of business, gave the reflection. The evening continued with two Bulldogs basketball games in Billera Hall, and a ‘Francis and Frozen’ prayer and reflection through the lens of the popular film, Frozen.

On Feast Day, the day began with a “Painting with Francis and Jane” art creation session, and a Sign Language Workshop to honor St. Francis de Sales’ patronage of the deaf. Frs. Jim Greenfield and Kevin Nadolski then hosted a University Mass to pray with the University community at the Eucharist. During his homily, Fr. Nadolski focused on the door-holding habit that makes the DeSales campus so unique. 

"Sure, it’s a polite gesture, but I am beginning to see it more as a metaphor-in-action," he said. "When we hold the door for someone, frequently with a smile or nod or maybe a few short words of greeting, we are basically saying, 'You are welcomed here. You belong. I may not know you, but I accept you, and I will respect you.'"

Read Fr. Nadolski's Homily 

The mass was followed by a reception where students were invited to dine on French cuisine, native to St. Francis de Sales’ homeland, Annecy, France. The evening continued with a lecture and exhibit by Salesian artist Anne Goetze, who discussed the inspiration she took from her travels to Annecy, France, with a stunning display of artwork that has been made available throughout the week. To conclude the evening, and the week of celebration, students tested their knowledge on Francis, Jane, and the Oblates with a fun round of Salesian Quizzo.