The Loyola Academy community celebrated its annual Mass of the Holy Spirit on Friday, August 19, marking the beginning of the 2022–2023 school year. The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a longstanding tradition among Jesuit high schools and universities, dating back to 1584. It provides students, faculty and staff a moment to pause, pray and seek the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in living out our mission to be women and men for others in the upcoming year. This year’s Mass was especially notable as it marked the formal missioning of Rev. Gregory J. Ostdiek, SJ, as Loyola’s ninth president.
Chloe Molins ’23 and Principal Charlie Heintz began the celebration by welcoming Rev. Karl Kiser, SJ, provincial of the USA Midwest Province and principal celebrant for the occasion, and the incoming Class of 2026, which processed into the West Gym accompanied by a hearty applause from the upperclassmen. Together with concelebrants Rev. Stan Czarnecki, SJ, Rev. Matthew Dunch, SJ, and Rev. Charles Rodriguez, SJ, Fr. Kiser joined us to mission Fr. Ostdiek as our new president and to renew our school’s sponsorship with the Province.
During the Homily, Fr. Ostdiek outlined for students the three most important traditions in Jesuit education:
A Jesuit-educated person finds God in all things.
A Jesuit-educated person is a woman or man for others.
A Jesuit-educated person, in whatever they do, does well and does good (though not in the Gospel, this is one of Fr. Ostdiek’s favorite values)
Next Fr. Kiser led the missioning of Fr. Osdiek: “Mindful of the ways in which the Holy Spirit invites us to journey with our Lord more deeply this school year, at this time I am privileged to lead us in officially missioning Fr. Greg Ostdiek, SJ as your new school president. Like you, Fr. Greg has also responded to the invitation of the Holy Spirit to join the Lord and all of you in this sacred mission of Loyola Academy… In the language of the Church, Fr. Greg is being missioned as the director of this apostolic work; this means that our Church has entrusted part of Her evangelical mission to Fr. Greg. He, along with the board of trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni are to, above all, enflesh the Gospel of Jesus Christ here on Laramie Avenue, standing on the shoulders of all those who have come before.”
Fr. Kiser invited Abby Daniel ’23 to lead the community in a special blessing: “It is my privilege on behalf of my fellow students and our administration, faculty, staff, and countless generations of alumni and friends of Loyola Academy to officially welcome you, Fr. Greg, to Loyola,” she said. “I now invite us to stand and extend our hands over Fr. Greg as this community begs God’s blessing upon you as you begin your leadership of Loyola Academy.”
With outstretched hands, Fr. Kiser continued in prayer: “Let us pray. Lord Jesus, at the intercession of St. Ignatius of Loyola, patron of Loyola Academy, bless Fr. Greg in the work he is about to commence. Please guide him in wisdom, lead him in hope, embolden him in faith, and deepen in him Your Love. Grant him health and humor, vitality and sight. Place beside him good companions in this mission, those gathered here, students, faculty, staff, alumni and benefactors, and all those who will join him in years to come. That under his leadership, we may more clearly attune our hearts to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and be inspired to co-labor with Him in the building of His Kingdom, for His Greater Honor and Glory. We make this prayer, through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
Following Mass, there was a small reception to celebrate Fr. Ostdiek’s missioning hosted in the Loyola Academy faculty lounge. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this special day!