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DeSales Celebrates Service During Mission Convocation

by Janelle Hill Sep 26, 2019

Members of the DeSales community came together to celebrate the University’s Salesian heritage and commitment to service during the Mission Convocation. 

“We gather here today to focus ourselves on mission,” Father James J. Greenfield, OSFS ’84, told the crowd of faculty, staff, and students gathered in Connelly Chapel. “It’s an opportunity to reflect on shared aspirations and trepidations in order to ask God for the gifts we need to work, study, and celebrate life.” 

The program featured prayer and music, provided by the University Chorale and Schola Cantorum. Three members of the University community—one faculty, one staff, and one student—also shared reflections about what mission means to them. 

Dr. Stephen Carp, assistant professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, shared the story of a 90-year-old African American patient who grew up in the south during segregation and the civil rights movement and who developed an unlikely friendship with a white student. Carp used the story to encourage the audience to love one another and to reach out to others and understand. 

Sidney Case, a senior education major, shared the ways in which she’s encountered the virtues of St. Francis de Sales on campus. Jaime Gerhart, director of the Center for Service and Social Justice, spoke about her vocation—community activism and engagement—and thanked the faculty and staff for sharing in her passion. 

“I’m so grateful to be able to share how wonderful I think every single person sitting in front of me is. All of you give our students an opportunity to dream, but, most importantly, you give our community an opportunity to dream.” 

 Jaime Gerhart, director of the Center for Service and Social Justice

The Mission Convocation grew out of the tradition of the Mass of the Holy Spirit for incoming classes of freshmen and their parents, with the faculty praying with them as new members of the University community.

For more photos of the Mission Convocation, see our Flickr album.