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Saint Mary’s to host outdoor Mass to celebrate St. Francis, creation

| Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Saint Mary’s students will have the opportunity to attend “Mass on the Grass” on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Le Mans Circle, an event celebrating the Catholic Church’s Season of Creation.

“There’s a season of creation going on in the Church,” director of campus ministry Regina Wilson said. “It’s ending on October 4 … it was a season to honor creation, to learn more about it and celebrate it so we appropriately decided to do Mass, on the grass, which we have never done before.”

The Mass will also be in honor of St. Francis of Assisi whose feast day is also Wednesday.

“[St. Francis was] a 13th-century man who heard the invitation to live a radical life of Christian discipleship,” Wilson said. “What I mean by radical life of Christian discipleship is in communion with all of creation, living nonviolently and living a life of poverty.”

Wilson said she believes one of the reasons St. Francis has become more popular is because of the current pope.

“I think he’s become more relevant since Pope Francis,” she said. “He is one of the saints that his chosen name Francis comes from … and Pope Francis cites part of St. Francis’s famous canticle of creation in ‘Laudato si.’”

Wilson said St. Francis has also come to popularity because of his concern for the earth.

“I think that he is an example [for] people who are very much interested in and concerned about the state of our planet,” she said. “People throughout creation look to him as an example of how Christians are called to care and see how we are in creation and how we are in communion with it.”

Wilson said the “radical” way St. Francis lived his life is another reason why he is fascinating to people.

“His commitment to living a life of poverty I think draws a lot of people now who are interested in what I would consider a radical Christian life,” she said. 

Campus Ministry decided to celebrate the Mass outside, in order to fully celebrate the Season of Creation.

“People can be outside and celebrate Mass in a setting close to creation,” Wilson said. “The Eucharist connects us to creation, the bread and wine are fruit of the Earth and work of human hands so they connect us to creation. This is to celebrate Francis who is the saint of creation and to give glory to God through all of that.”

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