Fr. Ronald Mercier, S.J., the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province, celebrated Mass of the Holy Spirit on Friday morning (Sept. 4) at Jesuit High School.
St. Anthony’s Chapel was filled to capacity for the Mass, after which Jesuit students took grade-level class photos and then were dismissed for the day. Many will be returning to campus Friday night for the Jesuit-Ocala Trinity Catholic football game, the first home game of the season for the Tigers, before embarking on the Labor Day holiday weekend (there is no school on Monday, Sept. 7).
Fr. Mercier annually visits each school in the province, which stretches across 13 states plus Belize and Puerto Rico, and includes six colleges/universities and 12 high schools. Fr. Mercier holds degrees in theology from Regis College and the University of Toronto as well as degrees in Slavic Studies and Russian history from Yale, Columbia, and Harvard.
Following Mass, several local media outlets interviewed Fr. Mercier about his visit to Jesuit High School and about Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States. Six Jesuit students, along with school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J., and assistant director of community service Michael Miller ’09, will travel to Philadelphia on Sept. 24-28 in conjunction with the Pope’s visit. They will take part in the Festival of Families on Sept. 26 and Papal Mass on Sept. 27, among many other things, while staying with about 300 other students from Jesuit schools in the U.S. at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia.