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The academic year at Merrimack College started with the traditional Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher, in which members of the community were invited to respond Biblically to a call for action.
While the Rev. Raymond Dlugos, O.S.A., was celebrating the Mass, he used an untraditional prop to get students motivated and interacting as he announced the rebranding of a popular program on campus.
Drawing from the Isaiah 6:8 quote, “here I am; send me,” Fr. Dlugos announced that in recognition of the phenomenal growth in the popularity of service learning trips in recent years, Campus Ministry is changing the name of the trips from Alternative Break and Service Immersion to the Send Program.
Students, faculty and staff were then asked to don complimentary headbands emblazoned with the Isaiah quote.
Fr. Dlugos referenced the poor leadership of Isaiah’s time that led to a decline in religious faith and spirituality but pointed out that, “God looks for somebody among us to proclaim the Good News.” God called Isaiah more than 2,700 years ago but still needs people to help in His work, the priest said.
We live in a world where it’s easy to distrust people because they are different but so many live in poverty with insecure housing and undrinkable water that God needs His people to help through the Send Program, said Fr. Dlugos.
“He is going to call one of us, or probably many of us, and say, whom shall I send?’” Fr. Dlugos said. “We’re hoping we can respond as Isaiah did – here I am.”
Athletic coaches with their teams, faculty and staff were invited to call out one-by-one, “here I am; send me.”