FUSG debates advisory resolution advocating for use of patens at campus masses

Edyta Wolk



At its meeting Wednesday, Sept. 30, Franciscan University Student Government voted to table a resolution concerning the use of patens after it was debated on the senate floor.

Fall Bill 20, sponsored by Sen. Bridget Whoriskey, submitted to the senate an advisory resolution asking for the use of patens at all campus masses in order to show more reverence to the Holy Eucharist.

An advisory resolution is a document submitted to the university administration representing the unanimous view of the senate and urging the administration to take appropriate action.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” said President Athanasius Sirilla about submitting such a resolution to the administration. “It’s the most powerful tool we have at our disposal.”

The bill was accompanied by a petition which had been promoted by the university’s Juventutem club and had received 217 signatures.

Sirilla, opening the debate on the bill, told the senate that he would veto the resolution if it was passed. While he expressed that he too wanted to see patens used on campus, he argued that the strong language in the resolution would be unlikely to garner sympathy, and that a better approach would be for the senate to meet with the Rev. Shawn Roberson, TOR, university chaplain, to discuss the issue.

Whoriskey defended the resolution, saying that she and other students have been advocating for the use of patens for years now but to no avail.

“The advisory resolution is our best, if not only, option,” she said.

Sen. David Hahn said that the introduction of patens should not be difficult. While patens are usually held by altar servers, which there are not always many of at school masses, Hahn pointed out that each priest is currently attended by a student worker or usher while distributing Holy Communion at school masses, and so these students could hold the patens instead.

“I don’t see any particular reason why it has to be a server,” said Hahn.

The senate decided to table the bill for one week in order to make amendments to the resolution. Whoriskey was the only one to vote against the motion to table.

Also during the meeting:


  • Fall Bill 21 allocated $31.98 to the Political Science Association for coffee for the Secretary of State roundtable event Thursday.
  • Fall Bills 22 and 23 reimbursed $23.20 and $48.80 to Mary Ann Cortese and Mary Kettinger, respectively, for the purchase of supplies for the student government-sponsored voter registration drive the week before.
  • Fall Bill 24 reallocated $50 to the Veritas Society to purchase drinks for a social event.


Student government meets every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the seminar room of the St. Joseph’s Center.