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Our Words Matter • Opening Liturgy 2019

We gathered this morning as a faith community to thank God for all the good things He has given us, and to pray for a peaceful school year together. We are especially hopeful for a year filled with enlightenment. We prayed for the wisdom to be able to listen to God’s voice in our hearts, so that we may more clearly know the hope of God’s call for each one of us.  

Today marks the feast of St. John Chrysostom, the wise Church Father, known as “Golden-mouthed” because of his eloquence in speaking out and preaching about the faith in a time of great turmoil. We look to St. John Chrysostom as a model of one who followed God’s call.  We echo this great saint in the Church, honoring our God through the discovery of our own individual calls within the larger community. No matter what our background is, what burdens we bring with us today, or what fears might lay in our hearts, we know that we are being called to this one table as daughters and sons of God, as one community in faith.  

Our Words Matter

Padua’s pastor, Father Mark Wrightson, gave a poignant homily about St. John Chrysostom and how we can challenge ourselves by his example.

In Father’s words, “it challenges each one of us to do much the same [as St. John Chrysostom], to try to say things beautifully with care and love, to try to speak in 'golden' terms and ways that everyone can understand. By doing so, we too might be examples for others and holy ones of God. We can do this as we go about our everyday lives, making our lives quite beautiful indeed."

He spoke about taking the plank out of our eye before the speck out of another's. Because in “clearing ourselves first, we can better help one another in the course of our own journey, in the course of our own hearing of the Gospel in the here and now, in the course of us living as Jesus would have us live so that we can continue His message."

"Each one of us continues to live out the Gospel. Each one of us makes a difference in how we do it and how we are Christ-centered."

Father Wrightson then challenged each of us to be cognizant of the words we use throughout the course of our day. Because as he so eloquently articulated, our words matter and will live on long after we have left our earthly bodies.

An Extra Special Day

Today’s liturgy was particularly special in that it marked a milestone. We celebrated the service of 13 new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in our community. The celebration was shared with the families of these Padua sisters.
  • Nadia Bedford, ‘20
  • Mia Casale, ‘21
  • Ashley DeFrehn, ‘21
  • Sienna DeMedio, ‘21
  • Lexi Hall, ‘21
  • Krista Kanu, ‘21
  • Diana Kenes, ‘21
  • Emma Law, ‘21
  • Annabella Martuscelli, ‘21
  • Kiera McCormick, ‘21
  • Madalyn Minnick, ‘21
  • Anna Thompson, ‘21
  • Ruth Wilhelm, ‘21

Special Thanks To...
  • Campus Ministry for organizing another beautiful liturgy for our community.
  • Our Amazing Padua Music Ministry, led by Ms. Jacob, Dr. Bozanic, and Ms. C. Keefe.
  • Our Altar Servers: Katie Ballinger, ‘20, Annie McTaggart, ‘22, and Celea Ransom, ‘21.
  • Our Banner Carriers: Bridget Casey, ‘23, Erin Fitzgerald, ‘22, Suzanne Melia, ‘21, Lilly Spych, ‘20, and Mrs. Kowalski, ‘83.
  • Our Lectors: Linda Walsh, ‘20, Emily Malone, ‘22, Meghan Doyle, ‘20, and Haley Quickel, ‘20  
  • Our Gift Bearers: Madalyn Lambe, '20 & Anna Szcerba, '23.

We placed the following needs before our Lord.

We pray for….

Our nation and ask God to heal the issues that divide us.  We pray also for an awareness of any prejudice that prevents us from loving one another as we should and an openness toward reconciliation.  We pray to the Lord…

Our leaders, both in the United States and around the world.  May all people come together to care for the common good, with a special focus on the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.  We pray to the Lord...

The Holy Spirit to guide all women and men as they promote justice and healing for victims and survivors of abuse, hatred, and prejudice; and that those who are suffering are guided to help, support and safety.  We pray to the Lord…

The students, faculty, and staff of Padua Academy, especially our newest members, the class of 2023, that we will clearly see God’s deep love for us, and witness that love in the world with courage. We pray to the Lord… 

The graduated members of Padua’s Class of 2019.  As they carry Christ’s love to new communities, may they be rooted in the knowledge of their individual dignity and the love of this community.  We pray to the Lord...

Solidarity in our global human family, that we may work together to protect those who are most in need, especially those in Yemen and in the Bahamas.  Let us pray to the Lord… 

The sick and suffering, especially Kathleen Wallen, Cece Lewandowski, Steve Jackson, Bunnie Bonsmann, Louisa Teoli, Frank Maranca, Thomas Stegman, and Pedro deArmas, that they experience healing through God’s grace.  We pray to the Lord. . .

Our family members and friends who have died, especially Joseph G. Marini, Brian F. from the Mary Campbell Center, Joe Rhoads, Carly Wheeler, and Anne Kane Paoli, that they know the comfort that comes from resting in the presence of God.  We pray to the Lord. ..

We pray for all the intentions we hold in the silence of our hearts.

Spirituality. Scholarship. Service. Sisterhood.