Students, faculty, and staff have a new space to pray on campus thanks to the recently built St. Michael Chapel in Maloney Hall. The altar for the new chapel was consecrated by the Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, Va., during a Mass on March 18.
“This St. Michael Chapel is the spiritual center of the Busch School of Business,” said Provost Andrew Abela, during his introductory remarks before the Mass. “A lot of thought and prayer went into the design of the chapel, particularly in choosing the saints and holy men and women who are depicted in the stained glass windows and behind the altar.”
The Mass was celebrated before a room filled with University leaders and board members, while students and faculty participated via livestream from a satellite location in Maloney Hall’s Della Ratta Auditorium.
During his homily, Bishop Burbidge explained the importance of the consecration ceremony, calling it “one of the most powerful and beautiful liturgical celebrations in our Church.”
“The dedication of the altar provides all of us, dear friends, with an opportunity to rededicate ourselves, our work, and our studies to the Lord, remembering our ultimate purpose to give glory to God and to serve one another, especially those in need,” he said.
The bishop also thanked Tim and Steph Busch and the many other donors involved in the Maloney Hall renovations.
“I know it’s your hope and your prayer,” he said, “that this beautiful chapel that you have given us is one that our students and all who enter the building will visit frequently so they can come to this sacred place each day, call upon the help of Jesus, and the intercession of his saints, to rededicate themselves, their work, their studies to the world, and find here the strength and nourishment they need to go forth and radiate the love of Christ to others.”
Following the homily, the bishop led those present in a litany of the saints before completing the rites of anointing, incensing, covering, and lighting the altar. Each of those actions are intended to signify the many invisible ways God works through the Church’s sacraments.
Following the Mass, Bill Bowman, a professor of business and former dean of the Busch School, said the consecration ceremony was a kind of fulfillment for Maloney Hall, which was under construction for two years (after being closed in 2015) before reopening to business students, faculty, and staff this semester. In addition to the chapel, Maloney Hall is now home to an array of high-tech classrooms, team study rooms, and office spaces.
“We’ve had a lot of construction here, but this chapel is the crown jewel,” Bowman said. “Having our Lord here 24 hours a day, seven days a week for our students is just unbelievable.”
Julie Larkin, who earned her M.S.B.A. from the Busch School in 2014, said she thinks the chapel will “add a great sense of virtue and foundation for the students,” while also “emphasizing the beauty that we’re hoping to bring into the world through the business school.”
Katie Watson, a current M.S.B.A. student, said she appreciated the symbolism of the chapel’s location, nearly right in the center of the building.
“It’s important to have it where it is because it shows that Catholic social teaching is so central to the business school,” Watson said. “This kind of reaffirms the whole mission of the school.”
“I think that this chapel will help our students to remember the purpose of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, and that all their hard work and efforts are to help them become instruments who will bring the light of Christ and the truth of his gospel to the world,” said Bishop Burbidge. “I think that in a very fast-paced, rigorous program, this chapel will give them the reminder they need, and it is where they’ll find their strength to be faithful to what God is asking of them.”