On Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m., Franciscan University hosted a Healing Mass for the student body to conclude its Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium. Christ the King Chapel and its Eucharistic Adoration chapel were filled with over 300 students.
The Rev. William Kiel, who recently retired as a priest for the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, concelebrated Mass with the Rev. Johnathan McElhone, TOR.
Kiel opened Mass with a short examination of conscience which set the tone for the evening. He asked the congregation to consider what seem to be their most common sins and to reflect on how they were going to improve. “When God heals you today, will you be prepared to be better?” he said.
Kiel counter-balanced this question with his homily, which investigated the Our Father and shared the meaning of each part. Kiel’s question, “how many people here have never been led into temptation before?” made the church fill with laughter.
As the room got silent, he turned to McElhone and said, “Father, we are in a room full of humans.”
After the conclusion of Mass, Kiel blessed the congregation and closed with a prayer that focused on the specific needs and intentions of the Franciscan community.
Kiel used this prayer as a segue into a time of intercessory prayer over anyone who desired healing. He and McElhone prayed individually over hundreds of students, which was a beautiful experience for those who had never experienced such a celebration. Many students stayed to participate in praise and worship, as well as quiet intercession for themselves and those being prayed over, until after 10:00 p.m.
“It was really beautiful to see so many people coming to Christ in need of healing,” said junior Rachel Lavallee. “He healed people in the Bible, and He’s still doing that today. And everyone’s in need of some kind of healing: physical, emotional, spiritual. It was beautiful to see our longing for Christ, and the peace that prayers brought showed His longing to heal us.”