Lift High the Cross: Students Participate in the Annual Triumph of the Cross Prayer Service

OBy Thomas Daly ’18

On Monday, September 14, the Chaminade family celebrated the Triumph of Cross prayer service on Ott Field.  A beautiful, clear day with a soft, gentle breeze from the east served as a perfect climate to accompany this wonderful celebration.  This was unique and spiritually complex service for each and every student.  With help from the celebrant, Father Garrett Long S.M. ’62, and guest speaker Brother Stephen Balletta S.M. ’74, the faculty members and students reflected on what the Cross means to their spirituality.

The service began when a student reader initiated the prayer service.  Next, Fr.

Fr. Garrett Long S.M. '62 reads the homily at the Triumph of the Cross prayer service.
Fr. Garrett Long S.M. ’62 reads the homily at the Triumph of the Cross prayer service.

Garrett, Bro. Stephen, and two altar servers proceeded to the altar while the Glee Club sang the joyous  “Lift High the Cross.”  The lector then read from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.  Fr. Garrett followed with the Gospel reading: John 3:13-17.

Bro. Stephen then proceeded with a reflection on the meaning of the Triumph of the Cross.  Last year, Brother Stephen talked about the joy the Cross brings to Catholics, but this year, he spoke about the challenge of carrying our own cross and sharing in the suffering of Christ.  He related it to Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken.”  He explained how in life, we can take the road that more and more people take in modern society, the road of selfishness, or we can follow the road to the Cross, the dusty road in Jerusalem to self-denial and self-sacrifice.  He then gave a personal anecdote as an example for his analogy.  Bro. Stephen said that he, a man who consecrated his life to Mary and Jesus, missed the opportunity to take the road less traveled, and someone he had personally judged to be a person of bad character took up the Cross to help a person in need.

Bro. Stephen
Bro. Stephen S.M. ’74 offers a reflection on the challenge of carrying the cross.

The service continued with the Prayer of the Faithful which was written by the Varsity Soccer team, and Fr. Garrett concluded the service with a blessing for a successful new school year and for growth in living in the ways of Jesus Christ.

After the service concluded, the students enjoyed Ssips Iced Tea and Grandma’s Cookies on Ott Field and Faerber Field.  With the combination of friends, a beautiful day, and delicious refreshments, the service was a huge success in helping the student body realize the power and mercy of the Cross.