Mount Saint Joseph 2013 Alumnae Sunday Homily


You are Alumnae of Mount Saint Joseph
And therefore, you are Women of the Holy Spirit.

On this Feast of Pentecost, we pray:
“Come Holy Spirit and fill the hearts of the faithful
And renew in them the fire of your spirit.”

Your presence today confirms
That Mount Saint Joseph Academy
Was a Spirit-filled environment….
A Spirit-filled center of learning and spiritual enrichment

As students of Mount Saint Joseph
Boarders and day students….
The Holy Spirit formed you into a faith community….
Where gospel principles became the foundation of your values
And guidelines of your choices
And you had Ursuline Sisters standing around
Ever present
To see that this happened

They had a transforming power
Transforming from feeling to do something foolish
To choosing to do something smart.

In this environment of Mount Saint Joseph
You became a Spirit-filled community:
Diversity blended into constructive living….
Individualism flowed into community building….
Kindness conquered fear….
Tolerance opened life to differences….
Forgiveness was greater than injuries….
Charity bonded all
And for some formed lasting and true friendship.

You came alive to the fruits of the Holy Spirit
In a community of kindness….goodness…self-control….

All these great blessings were possible
Because the Holy Spirit was present here at Mount Saint Joseph
And formed you into
The Mystical Body of Christ.

It was the Holy Spirit in this Sacred Setting of Mount St. Joseph
That awakened your human spirit
To a great relationship with God.

Religion was not just another academic subject
But an opportunity to learn of God…..
An experience that inspired and invited you
To live with God and for God.

Just look back and remember

As students of Mount St. Joseph
You were under the guidance of women of the Holy Spirit:

They showed a love that was life-giving….
A love that made you feel accepted
When you felt uncomfortable with yourself

They had a wisdom that understood your questions
Before you could find the words to formulate them

They stood courageous in principles
When your pleading tore at their hearts….

They had a respect for you
Beyond your comprehension
Because they had a reverent fear of God

They were women of goodness
Because they were women of the Holy Spirit.

In your presence here today
You remember and are grateful.

They were women of the Holy Spirit
And thus they touched secular subjects
With the presence of the Spirit

Biology….had a reverence for life….

Chemistry…a science governed by morality

Sociology…had a respect for fellow human beings

Language….was for communication but also to proclaim the Gospel

The arts…music and poetry…sculpture and paintings gave joy to the heart
But it also lead to mystery

Thus all academic studies
Were also channels of the Holy Spirit in your life….

Education today without the Holy Spirit is lifeless.

Often you were called to silence….
Sometimes for study…
Sometimes to respect the rights of others
But silence had a greater value
It allows the human mind
To enter the depth of your own being…..
There to encounter your God dwelling within….

Silence today is fruitful
Silence helps you to discover truth
Silence helps you to find the courage to live truth

Your appreciation of silence today
Helps you to stay sane in a crazy world
But more so, it helps you to pray….
To commune with God

Here at Mount Saint Joseph
There were special times for the holy
….times you spend in this chapel for prayer…..
For sacraments….for Mass
The Holy Spirit was present….always present.

That prayer time…morning and evening.
That holy hour…that time that seemed so long
And at times so useless…
Was a time when Holy Spirit was working in your heart….
And raised you into communion with God.

Indeed the Holy Spirit
Worked in the religions actions
Of your faith

When you went to confession
It was the Holy Spirit who gave power to words
And a priest said the “I absolve you from yours sins…..”
….your sins were forgiven and you knew peace.

It was the Holy Spirit who gave power to words
And when a priest used words in the Mass
Bread and wine became the Body and Blood of Christ.


Your years here at Mount St. Joseph as students
Were exciting years…fruitful years…
Where your Catholic Education
Plunged you into the Mystery of the Holy Spirit.

You were motivated to bring alive
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
Gifts poured into your soul at Confirmation.

You feasted well on the fruits of the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit transformed you:

You came as an adolescent
And left as a young adult

You came immersed in feelings
And left with spirit of self-control

You came a bit puzzled with life
And left with a greater awareness of your precious dignity

You came feeling you were commanded to pray
And let with a  choice to pray.

You came thinking the world owed you a living
And left with a willingness to serve.

At Mount St. Joseph
You became
Aware of talents….but also the need of service

Aware of limitations…yet conscious of your transcendence

Fragile in feelings………yet with a power to forgive

You, the Alumnae of Mount Saint Joseph….
Are women of the Holy Spirit

You have humility………….Pride does not crumble you
You have trust….limitations do not stifle you
You have forgiveness….injuries do not imprison you
You have generosity….selfishness does not choke you
You have piety…belonging……..individualism does not isolate you
You have hope….secularism does not depress you
You have faith……..materialism does not deceive you
You have God…….nothing can destroy you.

Beloved Alumnae of Mount Saint Joseph
Your presence today
Is an expression of your gratitude
And your openness to the Holy Spirit

May you always be aware
That you are women of the Spirit.

Monsignor Bernard Powers