Mount St. Mary’s University’s begins bicentennial
The vaults at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg will be opened this week and the historic chalices used at Mass will be brought out in honor of the school’s 200th anniversary. The Mount was founded in 1808 by French émigré priest Father John DuBois who picked Emmitsburg as his location for a Catholic university and seminary.
The chalice used by Father DuBois and other itinerant priests in the 1800s will be on the altars of many Masses at the university this year including one of the most important, the Founder’s Mass, to be held Aug. 24 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on the Mount campus.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Harrisburg, a Mount alumnus, will concelebrate the Mass along with other priest alumni, each using one of the historic chalices.
The collection runs the gamut of simple, unadorned chalices like the one Father DuBois used, to elaborate and jeweled chalices donated by priests and bishops who have died.
A gold chalice from the Mount’s 100th birthday will be on the altar along with others from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Many of the chalices have precious stones set in the base. When a priest’s mother passed away, her rings were often given to her son to embellish his chalice.
The concelebrants will wear vestments dating back more than 100 years as well as bicentennial robes especially made for the historic occasion. Donors for these bicentennial vestments include previous Mount Chaplains, chair of the Mount’s National Alumni Association, and Pamela Zusi, the university’s director of development, in honor of her late husband, Michael, whose name is sewn into the seam of the robe.
Other bicentennial celebrations that day include the unveiling of the Mount’s historic timeline, the dedication of the Founder’s Plaza and the unveiling of the three-ton bronze statue of Father DuBois in the center of the plaza.
The evening will end with previews of The Spirit Continues, a new documentary about the Mount, and a Zambelli fireworks display from the top of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.
All events are free and open to the public.