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Photos: Blessed Sacrament Reposed for First Time in New England Chapel

Photos: Blessed Sacrament Reposed for First Time in New England Chapel

Posted: March 4, 2019

Friends of Thomas Aquinas College from throughout the Northeast gathered in Northfield, Massachusetts, Sunday for a glorious moment in the history of the newly acquired New England campus: The Blessed Sacrament was reposed — for the very first time — in the campus Chapel.

“Our Lord now abides — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — on the new campus, guiding us as we prepare for the arrival of students this fall,” said President Michael F. McLean.

  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
  • First Mass New England 2019
    Slideshow: Mass and Reserving the Blessed Sacrament

The reservation of the Blessed Sacrament followed the first regularly scheduled Mass to be offered in the chapel, which, until students arrive in the summer, will host Masses every Saturday. Serving as the principal celebrant was Rev. Thomas Kocik, a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, joined at the altar by Rev. Charles DiMascola, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in nearby Turners Falls, and Rev. Mr. Randy O’Neill, a deacon in Westford, Massachusetts, and the father of a Thomas Aquinas College alumna, Casey (Schwitalla ’14). Music filled the building for the joyous occasion, as an impromptu alumnae choir — led by Molly (White ’87) Smillie — sang sacred hymns from the choir loft.

In his homily, calling upon Our Lord’s admonition in the day’s Gospel reading that the blind cannot lead the blind (Luke 6:39-45), Fr. Kocik warned against the “blind leaders” that abound in the world today. True leadership, he observed, can only be found in those who dedicate themselves to Christ, His church, and His word.

“All too many institutions devoted to forming youth have become blind guides,” said Fr. Kocik. “Utilitarianism, pragmatism, consumerism — these three ideologies view human fulfillment without regard to human ends or purposes. They focus, rather, on getting one’s hand on whatever one wants, whatever it takes, whether it comports with human ends or not.” By contrast, he added, Thomas Aquinas College is a place “where students receive a total intellectual, spiritual, and moral formation through the special intercession of our patron, the Angelic Doctor. May Christ, the Light of the of the World, richly bless the work that lies ahead here.”

The beautiful, century-old campus — a gift of the National Christian Foundation — is the site of a former preparatory school founded by the late 19th century evangelist D.L. Moody. To prepare the chapel for Sunday’s Mass, the College installed a tabernacle, sanctuary lamp, and temporary altar. The building will be further renovated for Catholic worship — including the installation of kneelers and a central aisle — before the start of the academic year.

After Holy Communion, Fr. Kocik reposed the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, and Deacon O’Neill lit the sanctuary lamp, marking the presence of Our Lord. In closing, Fr. Kocik read a letter from an alumna of the school that once occupied the campus, in which she spoke of a meaningful Christmas service at the chapel many years ago. In particular she remembered a carol sung that night, the words “He is, here and now, Jesus our savior,” standing out in her memory for their beauty and poignancy.

“My brothers and sisters, faculty and friends of Thomas Aquinas College,” said Fr. Kocik, “in the light of this special Mass, ‘He is, here and now, Jesus our savior,’ takes on new meaning.”

Caleb Skvaril (’19)

“Learning from the great books, you can see the questions that history’s greatest thinkers have asked and all the ways that they have tried to answer them. You’re able to see what’s right about what they’re saying, but also what’s wrong. The more your opinion is challenged, the more you have to refine it in order to get closer to the truth.”

– Caleb Skvaril (’19)

Asan, Guam

“I am happy with the mission of Thomas Aquinas College and with the results spread through various countries in the world!”

– Most Rev. Lionginas Virbalas

Metropolitan Archbishop of Kaunas, Lithuania

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