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Campuses celebrate Moreau’s first Feast Day

Gene Noone | Monday, January 21, 2008

Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s celebrated the first Feast Day of Blessed Basil Moreau with Sunday Masses that honored the life and legacy of the Holy Cross founder.

Sunday marked the 135th anniversary of Moreau’s death and was the first time official prayers designated for his Feast Day were used in the Eucharistic Liturgy.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., presided at the 10 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. McCarrick previously presided over a Mass of Thanksgiving for Moreau’s beatification last September in Le Mans, France.

The Mass contained special prayers and readings as well as a brass ensemble that accompanied the Liturgical Choir.

Father Peter Rocca, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, said the feast day is an opportunity for people to learn from Moreau’s life.

“Hopefully by celebrating his feast, people will come away with a much greater appreciation of this great man of faith, and learn something of the congregation of priests, brothers and sisters which he founded,” he said.

Junior Peter Privon, who attended the Mass, said he was impressed by Moreau’s accomplishments.

“It was interesting to hear about the history of Father Moreau and his legacy at the Mass,” he said. “I never knew what a large impact he had on so many people at such a young age.”

Saint Mary’s celebrated an all-school Mass Sunday evening in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto. The Mass was led by campus minister, Father John Pearson.

The Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir, the Liturgical Choir and the Hand Bell Choir sang for the Mass while the Liturgical Dancers interpreted the readings.

The Mass launched Saint Mary’s third annual Heritage Week, which celebrates more than 150 years of school history. Saint Mary’s will celebrate its heritage throughout the week with a series of lectures and performances.

Sister Rose Anne Schultz, vice president for mission, said that with Moreau’s feast day and Heritage Week, she hopes each person associated with the College will grow in appreciation for the heritage that shapes the school’s mission today.

Moreau was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 15, 2007 in Le Mans, France. When the Pope beatified Moreau, he established Jan. 20 as his Liturgical Feast Day.

Coinciding with Sunday’s Masses was the Saints Conference, a two-day speaker series that explored the significance of saints in Catholicism.