On Sep. 10, Loyola held its annual Mass of the Holy Spirit. The mass takes place at the beginning of each school year to ask the Holy Spirit to guide and support students throughout the upcoming school year. The liturgy has been a custom since the earliest days of Jesuit education and is a long-standing Loyola tradition. Fr. Gregory Goethals, SJ ’73, presided over the mass.
Sophomore Aaron Ambrose said, “I thought Loyola did a great job adapting the mass to stream online. It was well organized, and there were less technical difficulties than I thought there would be. My dad, being a former Loyola Cub himself, also thought it was well run, and he enjoyed the mass as it reminded him of his days as a student.”
Technical issues have been a major issue as the majority of schools nationwide have switched to online learning platforms. The mass was broadcasted well; however, the livestream still contained audio feedback issues at certain points during the mass. Many people, such as science teacher Andrew Uy and Director of Campus Ministry Matthew Schaeffer, were active behind the scenes to ensure the mass ran smoothly.
Schaeffer said, “Unfortunately, we had some technical issues. Some of the microphones weren’t working initially, some of the pre-recorded audio didn’t work from time to time, and there were issues with the chat. However, the second half of mass was much better.”
Unlike previous years, the mass was forced to be livestreamed due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Despite its inability to celebrate mass in person, the Loyola community had the special opportunity to invite all family members and students to attend.
Sophomore Tyler Kuan said, “I enjoyed the mass even though it was online. It helped me to feel more at ease with my classes and confident heading into this online school year. It was also cool for my whole family, not just me, to be able to attend the mass. My family got to see what a mass at Loyola was like, even if it was over a virtual livestream.”
The liturgy choir also had the difficult task of playing music at mass even when they were all at home and away from each other.
Schaeffer said, “The Liturgy Choir recorded music remotely for this Mass and it turned out really well! It will only get better from here!”
Principal Kozakowski offered an insightful reflection on the readings, and pre-recorded hymns and songs were sung throughout the mass by the liturgy choir.
Ambrose said, “My favorite part was the playing of the Communion songs. The choir did a great job in overcoming the challenge of being physically apart and not being able to play live. They still made the music sound great. I look forward to next year’s mass where we hopefully are back at school.”
At its peak, over 600 members of the Loyola community attended the mass. Students were also invited to submit a picture of themselves in dress attire to be shown in a slideshow during Communion. The slideshow was created with the intention of promoting a sense of community in the online world that students have faced in the past several months.
Schaeffer said, “We had about 400 people send in photos of themselves in dress attire for the communion song and video. This really added to the feeling that we are a community participating in this together. Of course though, I can’t wait until we can safely have in-person school Liturgies again!”
Kuan said, “While we aren’t physically together, it was nice to see my classmates that I haven’t seen in a while during Communion. I look forward to seeing everyone again in the future when the COVID-19 pandemic is over and where we can participate in masses and other school events in person again.”
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