Campus Ministry celebrates Founder’s bicentennial birthday

On Feb. 6, Campus Ministry will be celebrating the 200th birthday of St. Edward’s founder Father Edward Sorin with a celebratory mass held at the Sorin Oak.

“We wanted to celebrate this occasion in an appropriate way that allowed all members of the St. Edward’s community to be involved in remembering our rich tradition and Holy Cross history,” said Brother Larry Atkinson, CSC, who attended St. Edward’s as an undergraduate student and has since been working with the university for over a decade. “We think it’s so important for our students to understand the values that our university was founded on and to celebrate these values in our daily lives.”

Father Edward Sorin, superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross, was invited to Austin in 1871, after having already founded Notre Dame University in 1842, to establish an educational institution based on the ideals of the Holy Cross mission. St. Edward’s has since named two landmarks, the Sorin Oak and Sorin Hall, in his honor. 

“Honoring the memory of our Founder is a great way for us to come together and engage in thinking about how our mission informs our individuality as an institution,” Atkinson said. “We were founded on a mission that revolves around faith, reason and understanding, and remembering that only makes us stronger as a community.”

Atkinson worked in collaboration with Director of Campus Ministry Peter Walsh, CSC, and other Campus Ministry staff to coordinate not only this celebration, but other events throughout the past year that have reminded students of the significance of prominent Holy Cross figures. Campus Ministry recently held a mass in honor of the Feast Day of Blessed Basil Moreau in Basil Moreau Hall and planned a similar celebration in honor of Jacques Dujarie in Dujarie Hall.

“All of these efforts have been planned with the intention to create a close-knit community of students that is excited about their University and its values,” said Walsh. “We had a great turnout at our Moreau Feast…all of the students who attended had a great time and it was wonderful to see them engaged and thinking about what Holy Cross means to them. We’re hoping that the Sorin celebration will allow even more students the opportunity to come together and remember the life of our founder.”

The 200th birthday celebration will begin at 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 6, and will be held in Sorin Hall in the event of inclement weather.