by Sarah Gianni ’18
The first week of the new semester at Providence College was marked with celebrations across campus. From students diving into new classes to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation, campus was invigorated by the start of a new year. The first week concluded with another celebration on Sunday, January 21—a mass to celebrate the life of Fernando Morales ’18. The mass was held in St. Dominic Chapel at 11:00 a.m., with around 170 attendees, 50 of which were Morales’ family and friends. The mass was spoken in both Spanish and English, to honor Morales’ Puerto Rican heritage.
“Father Dominic gave an amazing homily, taking the time to talk with people who knew Fernando so that his words were beautifully tailored to honor him,” said President of Campus Ministry Keith Lee ’18. A team of students including Lee, Vice President of Campus Ministry Shannon Grady, Vice President of Student Congress Jenna Shanley ’18, and Executive Board Member of Campus Ministry Daniel Arteaga ’19 all worked to make the mass possible. “You could really feel the love and care in the air,” said Shanley. “What was really nice was a lot of men from the floor Fernando lived on freshman year came—it showed the unity that students have for eachother here.”
Aria Ross ’18 said she felt very moved by Morales’ mass, “It was great to see the connection between PC students and Fernando’s family and friends from other schools.” One particularly special component of the mass was Morales’ mother offering a notebook for guests to write down moments they had shared with Morales, as well as plans for their senior year.
“It was truly moving that Mrs. Morales cared so much about Fernando’s peers, and it makes him feel even closer to the Friar family,” said Shanley. May 2018 would have marked Morales’ graduation from the College.
“This mass was a wonderful way to remind the Class of 2018 of a friend that was lost, but is still a beloved member of the class,” said Lee. “It was a nice way to remember meeting Fernando our freshman year, and keeping him in our hearts as we go through our final semester at PC.”