"You are filled with great potential."

Each month, members of the Incarnate Word Academy community come together at Annunciation Catholic Church for an all-school Mass. The first Mass of the 2021-2022 school year was held on Friday, Aug. 13, marking the end of the first week of school. Designated as a Mass of the Holy Spirit, it was an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to understand that the Holy Spirit is both with and in us, always.

The Rev. John Huber, a member of IWA's board of advisors and a Basilian father and the director of Catholic education at the University of St. Thomas, celebrated the Mass. Members of IWA's Campus Ministry Team participated as lectors, sacristans and greeters, and the Incarnate Word Academy Choir lead the congregation in song.

"Liturgy comes from a Greek root meaning 'a work of God by the people of God,'" said Campus Minister Alyssa Vijil. "Today, those people were the young women of IWA, coming together in communion to celebrate the beginning of a new school year and to give praise and thanksgiving to Jesus, the Incarnate Word."

As he began his homily, Fr. Huber noted the stained glass window of the Annunciation, reminding the students that the event is when the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her she would give birth to the son of God. He told them that Mary was their age, and that God chose her to be the mother of Jesus, just as He has chosen them for great things as well.

"God loves each one of you," Fr. Huber told the students. "He created you to be incredible forces of love. You are filled with great potential."

He asked God to bless the students and the school year, today and every day.