Special Mass Celebrates Jesuit Founder, Tradition
July 29, 2011 – Georgetown held its annual Mass in honor of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola in Dahlgren Chapel to celebrate those in the university community who promote Ignatian values and spirituality.
“It is a chance for the community to come together and celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius,” said Rev. Patrick Rogers, S.J., who is director of campus ministry and played the music for the Friday afternoon service.
As founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius is honored around the world each year toward the end of July, which marks his death on July 31, 1556.
A Day to Be Thankful
The Feast of St. Ignatius celebration at Georgetown began five years ago when Rev. John Langan, S.J., began his service as rector of the university’s Jesuit community.
The Mass and reception are a way to honor the university community and its commitment to educating the whole person – mind, body and soul – and the Jesuit value of service to others, Langan said.
“This is a day for being thankful for gifts – gifts that St. Ignatius brought to us … and for us, as Jesuits working in this university, to be grateful to you [Georgetown faculty and staff],” he said during the service.
Final Mass As Rector
The Mass also marked the last one that Langan presided over as rector.
For five years, he worked as rector to promote the well-being of the university’s Jesuit community and to encourage them to share creatively in the work of the university.
“This is a demanding task because of the range of things [that] need to be done, but [it] also is a very rewarding call to work with such wonderful people – from [President] John J. DeGioia to the kitchen and nursing staff at Wolfington Hall,” he says. “At the center of it is the call of St. Ignatius to find God in all things, which for us as Catholics begins and ends in the Eucharist.”
Langan will remain on faculty as a professor of philosophy and within the School of Foreign Service. He plans to spend a year at Oxford University working on a book about just war theory.
His successor, Rev. Joseph Lingan, S.J., will be formally introduced to the university community during Mass on July 31.