It has become a tradition in Xavier School to begin the school year with a Mass of the Holy Spirit to strengthen the community with God’s presence on earth. The Mass for the grade school was held Tuesday, June 16, at the sports center gymnasium, celebrated by Fr. Johnny Go and Fr. Art Borja. The Mass for the high school was held a day later, Wednesday, June 17, at the HS gym.The grade school Mass was attended by students from grades 4-7. During the Mass, Fr. Johnny focused his homily on the problem of bullying that has become a perennial challenge for all schools, particularly in the primary and secondary levels. He admonished the students to reflect deeply if they are guilty of this behavior and to strive to refrain from these unjust and uncharitable acts. He advised any victim to gather friends together to stand up to bullying not by violence but by telling the bullies very firmly to stop their abusive actions.After the homily, a special rite was performed to commission several members of the Xavier faculty and staff to act as extraordinary ministers of the Holy Communion. They will be the ones tapped to administer the Eucharist during school Masses. Each lay minister candidate was asked, “Are you resolved to undertake the office of giving the body and blood of the Lord to your brothers and sisters, and so serve to build up the Church?” and “Are you resolved to administer the Holy Eucharist with utmost care and reverence?” To which the candidates replied, “I am.” They were then blessed with Holy Water and the new ministers of communion were welcomed with a round of applause.The Mass for the high school was celebrated by newly ordained priest, Fr. Joseph Sia of batch 92 (see related articles), together with Fr. Johnny Go, Fr. Art Borja, Fr. Guy Guibelondo, Fr. Ari Dy, and Fr. Xavier Olin. Fr. Olin is a new priest, ordained just two months ago. He has been assigned to Xavier School and will serve as School Chaplain. Fr. Ari Dy, also a Xavier graduate, is temporarily residing with the Xavier Jesuit community while waiting to take post-graduate studies overseas.In his homily, Fr. Sia emphasized the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. He shared that it was on Pentecost Sunday that he opened his heart to God and accepted His calling for him to serve as a priest. He also mentioned that he constantly strives to live up to the Xavier ideal of being a “man for others” such as by volunteering for medical missions even while he was studying for the priesthood.He also had a specific message for each year level. To the freshmen, he advised that in this year of major adjustment, they should pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance; to the sophomores, he stressed that in this year of their Confirmation, they should pray for renewal in their faith; to the juniors he mentioned that their experience of the Days with the Lord will be a special opportunity for each of them to build a personal relationship with God; and to the seniors, that they should pray for the Spirit’s guidance so they can discern more clearly God’s will for their future. He encouraged everyone to pray to the Holy Spirit for the confidence and strength needed to prevail over whatever challenge may come their way.As in the GS, several members of the HS faculty and staff were also commissioned as lay ministers of the Holy Communion. The candidates were each called by name to affirm their commitment to God’s call to serve in this special ministry and, finally, were blessed with a prayer and the sprinkling of the Holy Water.Renewed by the Holy Spirit, the Xavier community can now look forward to a productive school year ahead.