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Bishop Schlert Kicks Off Feast Day Festivities with Special Vigil Mass

by Janelle Hill Jan 23, 2022

Live in the now.

That was the message Bishop Alfred Schlert shared with the campus community during a special Vigil Mass in Connelly Chapel on the eve of the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales.

“What a beautiful night to be with all of you ... as you celebrate your identity as a Catholic university in the Salesian tradition,” he said. “That’s so important that you recognize throughout this week the role of your patron saint, not only in the way you embody the campus spirit but also in the way of living as Francis de Sales would instruct.”

Bishop Schlert thanked Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, University president, and welcomed Father Barry Strong, OSFS ’78, the superior general stationed in Rome, back to campus. He then paid tribute to St. Francis, the gentleman saint, praising his works as groundbreaking in their appeal to everyone.

“He lived in a time where religious life, holiness was really only thought to be in the realm of those who were priests or monks, nuns. ... The lay people didn’t really see that holiness was something for themselves as well. He broke through that mindset.”

The bishop then encouraged students to read as many of St. Francis’ writings as they can before leaving campus, and he echoed St. Francis’ call to live in the now—to live immediately in God’s presence.  

“The worst thing we could do is live in the meantime between knowing about God and acting on what he calls us to do. ... Francis de Sales calls us to action; he calls us to live in the moment, to feel God with us in the moment, and to respond to Him in the moment.”  

The Vigil Mass was followed by a reception in the Gambet Center. Additional Feast Day festivities include an evening prayer, senior soiree and Salesian spirits, and Salesian Quizzo.

Watch the full Vigil Mass