University Mass Commemorates 9/11


St. John’s offered a special mass at St. Thomas Moore Church to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Fr. James Maher said the purpose of the mass was to give people an opportunity to “express all the feelings that they’re going through.”

“Sin and death are not the ultimate end,” Maher added.

Unlike a traditional Catholic mass, the ceremony started in darkness and silence as the church’s bells tolled for several minutes. After the mass, a candle was lit at the 9/11 memorial waterfall. Fr. Maher said the candle symbolizes the victory of light over darkness.

The mass’ music began with the opening line of the Prayer of St. Francis. Music Director Bill Montvilo said the hymn contains a message of working toward peace.

In his homily, Fr. Maher spoke about feelings of anger being natural after tragic events.

“All of the feelings we have of hatred are very valid,” he said. “But it’s important that we don’t live there.”

Junior John Marchi said he attended the memorial service to “seek a little more comfort through the church.”

Marchi said he knew many firefighters killed on 9/11.

“I know they’re up in heaven looking over us,” he said.

Senor Diana Bochnik not only prayed for those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks, but for the perpetrators themselves.

“It’s important to pray for the people who did this because they don’t understand the importance of life like we do,” she said.

After the mass a procession was led from St. Thomas Moore, to the top of the Great Staircase. A short prayer service was held while petitions for the dead were read, and people blessed those behind them with holy water.

“It’s important that we come together and raise our community up again in peace and love,” sophomore Amanda Savino said.“We have to keep in mind that every day is a gift and it matters so much.”