For Christians around the world, tomorrow marks the start of the great Easter Triduum, a solemn remembrance of the suffering and death of Christ that crystalizes the depths of the love of God for His creation. In Christ’s Passion we see the source of our Franciscan charisms, our commitment to upholding the dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and stewardship. During this Holy Week, we are called to see ourselves in terms of the greater whole of humanity and reaffirm our commitment to reflecting God’s love for us through the use of our gifts and talents in service to one another.
On Sunday, the totality of God’s love for us comes to its great fulfillment in the Easter feast. This joyful celebration of the Resurrection is a well-spring of hope and a testament to the promise of new life. It is a reminder to us all that when we give fully of ourselves for the benefit of those who are in need - emotionally, physically, spiritually - we will foster a transformation of our present reality and create a paradigm of mercy and love.
In my time as President, I have seen first-hand the depths of the Marian University community’s love for one another and our commitment to affirming human dignity through works of service and advocacy of justice. Through our programs in education, business, health sciences, liberal arts, and ministry, we connect the individual vocations of our students (past and present) to meaningful employment of their gifts and talents in ways that advance human flourishing. The Marian community’s love of neighbor extends beyond the bounds of religion and creed - and it is the source of my greatest joy as president.
Regardless of one’s faith tradition, let us all take the opportunity during Holy Week to engage in spiritual reflection, growth, and deepening our commitment to our Franciscan values. Over the next several days, Marian University will offer several opportunities for us to come together in prayer and worship as a community:
- "Witness at the Cross" - Wednesday, March 23, 12 p.m., Bishop Chartrand Memorial Chapel, an ecumenical (inter-Christian) gathering featuring dramatic readings from the perspective of those who witnessed Jesus' last hours on earth.
- Holy Thursday (Mass of the Lord's Supper) - Thursday, March 24, 4 p.m., Bishop Chartrand Memorial Chapel
- Good Friday Service - Friday, March 25, 1 p.m., Bishop Chartrand Memorial Chapel
- Easter Vigil Mass - Saturday, March 26, 8:30 p.m., Bishop Chartrand Memorial Chapel
- Easter - Sunday, March 27, 11:30 a.m., Bishop Chartrand Memorial Chapel (Note: There will not be an 8 p.m. Mass on Easter.)
I pray that you and all those you hold dear have a blessed Easter season and experience the joyful love that radiates ever-more strongly from the Marian community each day.
Daniel J. Elsener