The Mass of the Holy Spirit was held Thursday, 6 September 2018, at the Chapel of the Divine Child to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year.
Father Francesco Patton, the Custos of the Holy Land, was the main celebrant of the mass.
A number of prominent figures attended the mass including his excellency Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, the Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine and the Chancellor of Bethlehem University, Ms. Claudette Habash, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Father Iyad Twal, Director of Latin Patriarchate Schools in Palestine and Israel, and Father Ibrahim Faltas, member of the Board of Directors of the Custody of the Holy Land.
In his welcoming speech, Vice Chancellor Brother Peter Bray welcomed Father Patton, who is visiting Bethlehem University for the first time.
Brother Peter reaffirmed the commitment of Bethlehem University in providing quality higher education to prepare the coming generations to build a prosperous future of Palestine.
“It is a blessing to be able to gather to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit because it gives us the chance to be grateful and to pray for each other and for the young people who are entrusted to us,” he said.
In his homily, Father Patton prayed to the Holy Spirit to guide the Bethlehem University community to spread the wisdom through education in the town of Bethlehem, in which the wisdom of God manifested in the Holy Child Jesus.
It is a tradition at Bethlehem University to start the new academic year with a Mass of the Holy Spirit. The mass is an occasion where the administration, faculty, staff, and students come together in prayers to offer thanks to God and to pray for the success of the new academic year.
Few days ago over 3200 students; new and returning, walked through the gates of Bethlehem University on their first day of the new academic year 2018-2019.