One Friday morning each year, late in the summer, the Detroit-Superior Bridge bears the weight of great importance—and more than 400 young men.
It’s the connecting point between Ohio City and Downtown Cleveland, between campus on West 30th and the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on East 9th. The bridge serves as the most significant portion of the walk that the Class of 2021 made to their first Mass of the Holy Spirit, and the scene itself is picturesque (just ask the parents!).
Although the 2017-2018 school year was only three weeks young when the Mass commenced on Friday, September 1, the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit marked a new beginning as the Saint Ignatius High School community gathered for the first time.
The freshmen processed into the cathedral behind a bagpiping Mr. Jim Brennan ’85, and took their seats front and center. The new faculty, staff and volunteers were commissioned before the entire congregation. The choruses of the alma mater and the beloved “Sing We Now To You, O Mary” soared to the ceiling at the Mass’s end.
The tradition of starting the school year with a Mass of the Holy Spirit dates back to 1548 and is celebrated by Jesuit schools worldwide. Its purpose is to call upon the Holy Spirit for blessings and guidance in the upcoming year. Today's Mass was concelebrated by Most Rev. Roger Gries, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Cleveland, and the Jesuit community of Saint Ignatius.
But it began with the walk. And the bridge. When the newest Wildcats returned to campus they have changed, as they were formally welcomed into the Saint Ignatius family. For it’s when we celebrate that most holy of sacraments, the Eucharist, together that we truly become one body.
Welcome, one and all.
VIEW PHOTOS from the 2018 Mass of the Holy Spirit.