Boston College President Celebrates All-Saints Feast Day at CM
West Roxbury, Mass.-- On a day of remembrance, Boston College President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J. celebrated All-Saints Day Mass and led a commemoration for all those departed from the CM community during a special ceremony inside the Ronald S. Perry Gymnasium on Friday morning.
The ceremony, held on the eve of All-Souls Day, also welcomed CM alumni back to campus where they joined faculty and students in commemorating the lives of CM community members lost.
During his homily, Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., the President of BC since June of 1996, challenged the CM students, faculty, and alumni in attendance to find inspiration in the extraordinary lives of the saints. Then, he asked the audience to pause and reflect on how to maximize their own gifts.
“I look at you and I see young men of great faith, potential, and gifts,” said Rev. Leahy to the students in the audience.
“The question that I have for you is how are you using those gifts and are you sharing them with others in a way that is right for you, that fits into the heritage of Catholic Memorial.”
Rev. Leahy emphasized the importance of remembering the saints for their extraordinary actions. He said that people must draw inspiration from those actions.
“This day is a moment to reflect on the lives of Saints,” said Rev. Leahy.
“Think about our mission. How are we living our lives? How are we responding to God’s call?"
Looking back on specific saints who he personally draws inspiration from, Rev. Leahy mentioned Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Saint Dominic, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, and Saint Patrick, the latter being the namesake of his hometown parish in Iowa.
Earlier in the week, students wrote their own remembrance cards in their Theology classes. The cards paid tribute to a friend, family member, or loved-one that lost their life this past year.
Student representatives led a procession of the cards to the altar. Together, the school community prayed over the offering. Meanwhile, a list of CM alumni who passed away flashed over the projector screen.
“Today is a special day,” said Dr. Folan.
“On All-Saints Day, it’s important for us to pause and reflect. It’s a time when we think about the saints who inspire us, provide paths, and give us role models for who we aspire to become.”
Dr. Folan paid tribute to all members of the CM community— family members, alumni, and friends— who lost their lives in the past year. He also mentioned how he too lost his own parents at a young age.
Reflecting on this difficult time in his life, he remembered a piece of advice from former Jesuit mentor of his. The mentor told him to find a poem that spoke to him. Dr. Folan chose the poem “Remember” by Christina Rossetti. The verses put him at ease and gave him peace after the passing of his mother.
“Losing someone is incredibly hard,” he said.
“But, amid these losses, our faith is what sustains us.”