Mid-Knight Mass
Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm. at the Mid-Knight Mass. (Photo by Alexander LaPoint)

by Christine Urio

This week, Mount Saint Mary College held its highly anticipated annual Mount Olympics.  The beloved tradition kicked off on Monday, Oct. 21, with the Mid-Knight Mass hosted by Campus Ministry and Student Activities

The event began at 10:30 p.m., with the soothing sounds of Full Armor Band, a Christian rock band, greeting students and faculty on the Guzman hill as they crowded into the big tent from the cool autumn air. Mass began at 11:00 p.m. with the Blessing of the Fire, where a flame from the Paschal Candle was used to light the Bonfire Candle. The candle burned for the entire week until Saturday night when it was used to light the bonfire.

Father Francis reflected that, “Living the Tradition of the Mount means that the Light of Truth may illuminate and nourish our minds, our hearts, our souls.” Asking God to continually light our paths, the flame of the fire reminds us, “we are called to be a spark to set the world ablaze,” and in essence, be the hope for change that the world ultimately needs.

Mass consisted of readings from the Colossians and Matthew, before a homily in which light was a fitting common theme. The bonfire is highly symbolic, for it “illuminates our path and helps us to choose the good; as the motto of the school says, ‘Teach me the truth.’”  Spirit of the Mount Week begins with “lighting that flame as a symbol of us being guided by that light, the truth, which comes from God alone,” and ends with the bonfire. This reminds us of what Saint Catherine of Siena said:“We are the spark setting the world ablaze;” the quote that inspired this year’s Bonfire shirts.

The Saint Banners, representatives of each class at Mount Olympics who stand for the perseverance and cooperation between them, were blessed and then carried out by their respective class president to the Founder’s Chapple.

Following the service, pancakes, bacon, orange juice, and hot chocolate were served. Despite the rivalries and growing tensions that were bound to occur later in the week, the Mid-Knight Mass gave the college a strong and spiritual start to the 18th annual Spirit of the Mount Week.