First Mass of the year sets a powerful tone: We are one family


Elaine Petrarca

The Academy family has a special connection with the people who have come before.

To conclude the first week of classes at Academy of the Holy Names, students and faculty came together for an all-school Mass on Friday, August 23 in the Brady Center.

Setting the theme for Mass, dedicated to Xandra A. “Sandy” Arango Alberdi, SHA’51, President Arthur Raimo, during his opening address, requested the congregation to take time to welcome all new faculty and staff to our Academy family.

Mr. Raimo reflected on the generations of the Academy family, “It’s a special connection that all of you have with the people who have come before you. People who have gone on to do great things in Tampa and beyond Tampa, who have started and raised beautiful families, and who have had careers of service to others. This is what you, as an Academy student today, have to look forward to. Not only the lives you’ll lead as individuals, but lives you’ll lead as members of this large and growing community of faith.”

Father Bruce Craig SDB, Pastor of Mary Help of Christians Parish, celebrated the Mass. In his homily, Father Bruce Craig spoke about talents. In the Gospel, coins symbolized talents.

“Jesus uses this comparison to get across the idea that we each have gifts or talents given to us by God. The important thing is figuring out how to use them. With life being the most important gift given to us by God, we must use our time wisely and productively.  Most importantly, we must find purpose in each of our lives.”

Thanking God for our Academy family and individual talents proved to be the perfect message from President Raimo and Father Craig as students and faculty begin the year uniting as a family and learning from each other.