Mass of Thanksgiving
Regis College will be moving into a beautiful space on the University campus at the intersection of Wellesley and Queen’s Park Crescent East, formerly owned by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. To thank the Sisters for facilitating the agreement with the building’s new owner, the University of Toronto, Reverend Joseph Schner SJ, President of Regis, invited our congregation to assist at the liturgy and to continue the celebration at a reception in the Common Room at 29 Queen’s Park.
‘The new home of Regis College: Theology on the Move,’ reads the sign affixed to the porte-cochère of 29 Queen’s Park, a residence of St. Joseph’s College for some eighty years. On March 26, 2008, the College Chapel echoed again with songs of praise and gratitude during the joyful service.
Under the light of the chapel’s striking stained glass windows, Very Reverend Jean Marc Laporte, Provincial of the Jesuits, presided at the liturgy and welcomed the Sisters of St. Joseph, Regis Faculty, staff and students. He was joined by concelebrants Fathers Joseph Schner and Gordon Rixon, Dean of Theology.
Father Laporte noted that Jesuits are anchored in the church, always reaching out to the margins. So too, Regis College, while rooted in academic life, now reaches its neighbours – hospital, government, and Sister colleges — from closer range.
The homilist, Father Gordon Rixon, commented on the joy and tears of those who have left behind people, places, and associations that are very dear. “At the same time,” he said, “we have all known the joyful anticipation of the new with all its potential.”
All three concelebrants voiced their thanks to the Sisters for enabling this significant new development for Regis College.
After the Mass, participants studied the display of architectural plans for the new space. In the Common Room, Sisters met to chat with some frequent presiders at Morrow Park liturgies and friends of long-standing – including Fathers Richard Macdonald, Joseph Scnnurr, Joe Plevnik, Scott Lewis, Gilles Mongeau, and many other Jesuits and Regis faculty members.
Enthusiastic Regis students greeted guests and explained the plans while expressing their hopes for the possibilities this future move has opened up.
By Mechtilde O’Mara CSJ
Photos by Marc Aristotle de Asis SJ and Mechtilde O’Mara CSJ