A large evergreen tree that stood outside of Heafey Hall recently became weakened by disease and was removed over the holiday break. A week before the tree was removed, a group of faculty and staff gathered to bid it farewell and offer a blessing.
Sister Carol Sellman ’69, MM ’78, EdD, vice president for mission integration, and Father Sal Ragusa, co-director of campus ministry, gathered with members of the campus community to pray together near the tree.
Sr. Carol read from Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted….”
Fr. Sal then led the group in the following prayer: “God of creation and source of all life, we gather today as we say our farewell to this tree that has graced our campus for many years. We are thankful for the shade it has provided, for the way it has enhanced the beauty of our campus, for its ability to purify our air and stabilize our grounds. As its cycle of life has come to a close as a living being we pray that it may return to nourish the earth, and complete the circle of life that you intend for all living things. May it remind us as we approach the celebration of our salvation in Christ, that all life is holy and sacred. We ask for this grace and blessing in the holy names of Jesus and Mary. Amen. Blessed Marie-Rose, pray for us. Jesus and Mary, my strength and my glory.”
The tree was removed during the period that the HNU campus was closed for the holidays.