Recently, Fr. John J. Cecero, SJ, provincial of the New York Province, celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit for Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, N.J., (September 12) and Canisius High School in Buffalo, N.Y. (September 19).
The Mass of the Holy Spirit is one of the oldest traditions observed by the Society of Jesus, and serves as an invocation of the Holy Spirit to assist all members of the school in their pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for the coming school year. Most Catholic schools, especially Jesuit schools and universities, celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit. It is a tradition almost as old as the Society itself, going back to the first Jesuit school in Messina, Sicily, in 1548.
The Masses also included the signing of sponsorship agreements, which reaffirmed Saint Peter’s and Canisius’ identities as Jesuit schools. At Saint Peter’s, Fr. Cecero joined Board Chairman Mr. Phil McGovern, ’76, and at Canisius he joined Board Chairman Robert Reger ’66, as they signed the document.
These are the First Masses of the Holy Spirit that Fr. Cecero celebrated as provincial of the New York Province.