The Promises in 'Silent Stone'

Mass of the Holy Spirit

The Promises in 'Silent Stone'

Threatening rain clouds forced last Sunday's annual Mass of the Holy Spirit from its usual location in the St. Mary's Hall rose garden to Conte Forum. But the indoor setting provided an appropriate context for homilist Rev. Stephen Schloesser, SJ, to offer some architectural insight into the legacy and promise of Boston College.

Concelebrating Sunday's Mass of the Holy Spirit were (L-R): Director of Campus Ministry James Erps, SJ, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, and Asst. Prof. Stephen Schloesser, SJ (History), along with other members of the Boston College Jesuit Community.
Fr. Schloesser, an assistant professor of history, said that BC's past, present and future are marked through the shifting modes of architecture found across campus, particularly those represented by Gasson Hall, O'Neill Library and the recently renovated Higgins Hall.

"The promises they proffer in silent stone - whether we know it or not - root us in a common past, open to us a common future, and beckon us to a common task," said Fr. Schloesser.

University President Rev. William Leahy, SJ, served as principal celebrant and was joined by 20 of his fellow Jesuits at the Mass, a centuries-old tradition at Catholic colleges and universities.

BC's student population was primarily young men from working-class Irish families when the University opened its Chestnut Hill campus, where the Gothic beauty of Gasson Hall stood symbolically as "an oasis of protection," said Fr. Schloesser. Later, a more universal Boston College, one housing female students and students from many backgrounds, was reflected in the Modernist styling of O'Neill Library, he said - and now the newly renovated Higgins Hall joins the modern and the Gothic.

Procession for the Mass.
"Higgins promises a university chapter as yet unwritten: a Modernist identity both progressive and universal and yet, at the same time, desirous of reclaiming its Catholic and Jesuit heritage," said Fr. Schloesser.

-Stephen Gawlik


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