Dear Members of the Emmanuel College Community,
As we begin Holy Week, we are aware that this year’s observances will be different from any we have known, with churches closed due to the pandemic. As there were no Palm Sunday processions this past weekend, so too there will be no Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday, no Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, and no Baptisms at the Easter Vigil.
Yet we will see Pope Francis giving his televised blessing to the world. We will see parishes live-streaming liturgies over the internet. And we will hear again, on Holy Thursday, the scripture readings of the Last Supper and, on Good Friday, the account of the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. Finally, we will hear the Easter Gospel, proclaimed first to the women at the tomb. That Gospel—in which the Risen Jesus says, “Do not be afraid”—is followed by the joyful Alleluia sung all over the world.
Throughout these holy days and beyond we will pray continually for all the victims of COVID-19, their families, the courageous medical and healthcare workers and all responders to the pandemic. These are uncertain times, yet our traditions, our values—our sense of who we are—remain vibrant. At Emmanuel in recent weeks we have seen so many inspiring gestures of outreach and support among students, faculty, staff, and graduates from across the decades. Although our campus, for a time, lies unnaturally quiet, as classes continue online, the spirit of Emmanuel is very much alive.
The joy of the Resurrection renews the whole world. May it fill your heart with hope. Alleluia!
Sister Janet Eisner, SNDdeN
P.S. On Palm Sunday, the Boston Globe published this article about a letter written by two members of the Class of 1970 to this year’s seniors. The piece movingly describes the circumstances—and bonds—that unite the two classes across 50 years.