2018 Homecoming Begins with Spirit of Mercy Day Celebration
Saint Xavier University (SXU) kicked off the excitement and festivities of Homecoming Week by coming together and celebrating the Spirit of Mercy Day, which marks Catherine McAuley's opening of the House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland. To begin what promises to be a week of unity and memories, SXU students, faculty and staff united for the Homecoming Liturgy in the McDonough Chapel. The pastor and students from Queen of Martyrs' parish and school also joined the SXU community in celebrating the Mass before sharing small gifts of their appreciation for SXU, showing that the ongoing love and support in our community.
During the celebration of Mass, SXU junior Emily Malchow had the opportunity to speak about her recent trip to the House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland.
"As a transfer student, this experience really helped me feel a part of Saint Xavier University," said Malchow during her speech. "A core component that attracted me to Saint Xavier University a year ago was the chance to develop my leadership abilities and my Catholic faith. This pilgrimage allowed me to embrace my faith and helped give me the confidence I needed to stand up here and talk in front of you all."
The importance of the Homecoming Liturgy is to honor the University's 172 years of Mercy heritage and to further the charism of Mercy in our society. SXU's legacy can be traced to the arrival of the first Sisters of Mercy to Chicago in 1846. Led by Frances Xavier Warde, the sisters opened Saint Xavier Academy for Females, which we now know today as Saint Xavier University. It is in that tradition of faith, courage, leadership and service that Homecoming Week begins with the celebration of the Eucharist and the ringing of the Academy Bell.
The Academy Bell is rung for three annual traditions: Founder's Day, Mission Day and Mercy Day. The tradition of honoring the University leaders in front of the Warde Academic Center on the Spirit of Mercy Day is one rooted in SXU's mission to continue inspiring professional growth, compassion and respect among students, faculty and staff. SXU representatives each took their turn ringing the ceremonial bell, not only acknowledging their ongoing commitment to the University and its community but also reminding all present that the works of SXU continuously reverberate outward.
"We at Saint Xavier are committed to carrying on the legacy of servant leadership," said SXU President Laurie M. Joyner during the ceremony. "In this tradition, we commission, today, leader-representatives of our community."