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Franciscan University Faith Households Celebrate 40 Years

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December 17, 2014 - 7:20 PST

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MEDIA ADVISORY

STEUBENVILLE, OH (December 17, 2014) - Marking the 40th anniversary of faith households, Franciscan University of Steubenville held a special Household Life Mass on December 5, 2014, to kick off a year of celebrations.

In his homily, Father Gregory Plow, TOR, director of pastoral ministry for Residence Life, explained the scriptural significance of the 40th anniversary, saying that throughout the Bible, many periods of trial or testing, or of accomplishing some major part of God's plan, last 40 years.

"God calls 40 years one generation," Father Plow said. "And although households have grown and changed a lot in various ways over these four decades, we might consider us to have now lived one generation."

Nearly 1,000 Franciscan students attended the Mass, the first celebration in honor of the Holy Spirit's work in the founding of households, which serve as the cornerstone of the University's student life experience.

In December 1974, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, newly named president of the then-College of Steubenville, announced that the College would be adopting "a new policy of 'household' as the basic principle of residential living." While household membership is no longer mandatory, today nearly two-thirds of all students who graduate joined a household. These Spirit-led men's and women's groups of three or more students share a common vision (a covenant) as a faith-based community that includes prayer and evangelistic service to the poor.

"While some attributes have changed over the decades," Father Plow said, "households now are still as Father Mike intended them to be: small Christian communities imitating those of the first century, especially as found in Scripture, of people not necessarily related who live and/or gather in a common location for prayer, growing in the Christian life, and living it out in charity to their neighbors and beyond."

Father Scanlan, who is now retired and living near his Franciscan TOR community's motherhouse in Loretto, Pennsylvania, addressed students gathered before the Mass in a pre-recorded message. "The deep desire people have to be bonded and belong with close friends or those with the same commitments and ideals was present [in households], and therefore they found themselves at home. Instead of households being this new thing we're going to do, you know, oh we're going to go to Kenya and open a mission or something, households is discovering something that's right in their midst. That's what the Holy Spirit wants His people to do--be brothers together, and in that brotherhood to be able to celebrate God's grace, God's mercy and love, as well as the mission that God will give them."

Faith households live out brotherhood and sisterhood and mission in many ways, each with their own particular spiritual focus often reflected by their names, from Knights of the Holy Queen to Conquer Through Love, Daughters of Zion to Gaudete in Via Crucis. Cherished Daughters of the Father, the first household for graduate and non-traditional students in nine years, will become the 50th currently-active household in January 2015.

More Household Life Masses and special events celebrating the history and ongoing legacy of households will be held over the course of the spring 2015 and Fall 2015 semesters, including keynote speakers with ties to household life, a household reunion for Carae Domini, the oldest currently-active household, and a special focus on households past and present during Homecoming, October 2-4, 2015.

Contact

Franciscan University of Steubenville
http://www.franciscan.edu
OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations,

Keywords

Franciscan University of Steubenville, households, faith households, Father Gregory Plow TOR,

Category

Catholic Schools & Religious Education

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