Homecoming draws parents, alumni to university to celebrate St. Francis

Photo by Elizabeth Alva

Maggie McCarron
Staff Writer

Parents, families and alumni from around the country visited Franciscan University of Steubenville for Homecoming Weekend Oct. 1-3, which included homecoming masses, the St. Francis Festival and sports games. 

The Presidential Golf Outing Friday, Oct. 1, one of the opening events of the weekend, allowed parents and alumni to visit with current students and see old friends. 

Many families arrived on campus Friday evening, some just in time for Household Life Mass at 4:45 p.m. Mass was celebrated on the lawn outside Finnegan Fieldhouse. 

The Rev. Rufino Corona, TOR, the main celebrant, spoke in his homily on the purpose of households at Franciscan.

“Households, in a lot of ways, (are) not just about building community, (although) that is one of the original intents,” Corona said. He said they are about developing commitments “ordered around seeking holiness.” 

“You get out of household what you put into it,” he said.

A student talent show, hosted by Exc!te, filled the fieldhouse Friday at 7 p.m. Some performances included freshman Anthony Quintero rapping under the name “Shway;” sophomore Murphy Givens singing his original song “80’s films;” and the Disciples of the Word dancing to “It’s Gonna Be Me” by NSYNC.

Following the talent show, many families headed down to a roaring ’20s-themed First Friday on Fourth Street event to visit shops, dance to ’20s music and drink beer from local breweries. 

Saturday morning started with the women’s lacrosse alumni game, with 10 alumni of the 9-year-old team playing. Blair Wonderly, ’21, was the only alumni to score, while Meg Gargulinski, ‘15, was the oldest returning player. Despite the low number of alumni, some current players joined them to contribute to their 6-4 victory over the current team members.

Margot Hinton, one of the referees for the game, was a referee during the very first Lady Barons’ lacrosse season in 2015-2016. 

It was “amazing to see how the coaching and the talent have developed over the years,” Hinton said.

The men’s lacrosse team held their alumni game Saturday as well, which, unlike the women’s, was played full-field and with a full four quarters. Sophomore Gavin Cook scored seven times and had two assists, leading the current players to their 14-11 victory over the alumni. 

Men’s rugby played Saturday against John Carroll University, securing a 31-7 win for their homecoming game. 

From noon to 4 p.m., households sold food, beverages and various other items at Francis Fest in the tent outside the J.C. Williams Center. 

Alumna Gretchen Van Haute McCarron, ‘99, said, “Francis Fest is super awesome! It’s so fun to see my old household and friends. It’s also great to be able to support all my nieces’ and nephews’ households!” 

Many households reported a huge success in fundraising. 

Inside the J.C., alumni could pick up T-shirts and leave a life update. Behind the J.C., there were bounce houses and games provided for children. 

The weekend ended with Homecoming Mass Sunday morning at 10:30 in the fieldhouse, with coffee and donuts following. 

Other events of the weekend included the annual Kelly Roggensack Memorial 5K Saturday morning, a blessing of the animals by the Rev. Jonathan St. Andre, TOR, outside the Portiuncula Chapel Saturday afternoon and a Festival of Praise Saturday night.


Updated Oct. 11, 2021.


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