The school year began with a number of activities and events for new and returning students. One of the most important first-week traditions was held Thursday, Aug. 29 — the Mass of the Holy Spirit and Matriculation Ceremony.
The ceremony welcomes our newest Jets to campus and connects them to our Catholic heritage.
Bishop Carl A. Kemme of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita delivered a homily and students were addressed by President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., Provost Kimberly Long, Ph.D., University Chaplain Father Adam Grelinger, their chosen class representative and various other Newman officials.
All spread the message of Newman University’s mission and values and encouraged students to make the most of their time in college.
Long said, “Students, you are launching an exciting phase of your educational pursuits and you have two important role models to guide you — John Henry Cardinal Newman emphasized the importance of learning throughout our lives. And you also have St Maria de Mattias, who embodied the beacon of service, selfless caring and love for those who need shelter, food and companionship.”
She added, “Our primary focus at Newman University is to prepare you to fulfill these same pursuits. We promise to provide academic challenges that will stimulate you to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually consistent with the vision of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, who founded this university in 1933.
“It is our belief that through the grace of God and empowered with distinctive knowledge, skills and values, you too can transform the world into a more peaceful, loving, learned and prosperous realm to mark our unity as a scholarly community.”
Student Murphy Obershaw, a campus student-minister, delivered a reading at the Mass. She said the ceremony is a great way to welcome new students to Newman and introduce them to its Catholic identity.
“Many Newman students are not Catholic and some may not know much about the Catholic faith. However, they are given the opportunity to experience a Mass, which is very important to Catholics. I hope this event helps students realize that they are always welcome in the chapel regardless of what their faith is,” she said.
Kemme ended the service with a blessing, “And so let us begin once again, a new academic year here at Newman University by calling upon God’s Holy Spirit and ask for him to breathe upon us in a unique and powerful way so that we will always live an abundant life with this gift. May all your experiences here in this time and place be anointed and infused with a power that comes from above.”
Students, staff and faculty gathered after the Mass to enjoy a picnic on the lawn and get to know each other and talk about the year ahead.