March 12: “Let Us Remember that We Are in the Holy Presence of God!”

A Blessing for the Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center, Saint Mary’s College of CA.

Let us remember… That we are in the holy presence of God!

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

May God, the source and origin of all, from whom every good thing comes to us, be with you all.  And with your Spirit.


On the occasion of a new building with its dedicated facilities to sports and recreation — two brief scriptural passages come to mind.

The first reading comes from the Hebrew Scriptures and at the very end of the First Book of Chronicles. We hear King David’s words of awe — over the wonder of the great Temple in Jerusalem; and a “holy of holies” dedicated to God’s grandeur.

David says: “For everything comes from you; and it is only your gift — that we give you. … From you comes all this wealth that we have laid up to build a house in honor of you holy name – and it is all yours”

In another reading, from Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul acknowledges the skill and devotion of the athlete:

“Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus, I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

So my friends: students, alumni, Christian Brothers, faculty, staff members of the Office of Advancement, Moraga citizens, and local officials,

And, yes, the donors to this great project — All gathered in the Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center.

We train now, but also exercise and train for our lives ahead.

We run here, compete here, and swim here – in order that in our preaching, in the telling of our own story, that is our life — We may exercise the muscle of thoughtfulness, the muscle of friendship, the muscle of service, the muscle of artistic expression, and the muscle of kindness. In all that we are – as fully human, and in all we become, and will be in this life.

I now invite Brother Dominic Berardelli; and Hope Blain, the president of the Associated Student to come forward; Brother Dominic holds the cross, and Hope holds the stature of Mary for the blessing.

Let us pray:

Lord, we sing your praises without ceasing.

You rule over all things with wonderful order,

You temper the cares and burdens of our toil,

And, by giving us rest and healthy recreation,

You refresh our bodies and minds.

We thank those who brought this project to safe completion – our construction team of architects, engineers, designers and workers.

We thank those here today whose generosity made this building a reality.

We entreat your kindness, Lord – as we hand over the Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center to its staff members and, most of all, to the students of Saint Mary’s College of California.

Grant that all who meet here may find a renewal of spirit, a strengthening of mind and body, the enrichment of companionship and good sportsmanship. And together offer you praise and thanksgiving. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen

Blessing of the Cross and Statue of Mary

Blessed be your name, O Lord,

You are the fount and source of every blessing,

And you look with delight

Upon the devout practice of the faithful.

Draw near, we pray, to your servants at Saint Mary’s College

And, as we use these symbols of faith and devotion,

Grant we may also strive to be transformed into the likeness

Of Christ your son; and his mother, Mary, whose name inspires our every effort at this College.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen

Blessing of the building site

 As we bless with holy water the building site — including the list of honored donors, I ask the Brothers of the College to come forward; and Sister Dolores Montini, the Chaplain for Athletics to follow Brother Dominic, Hope and myself. The procession around the building will take a few short moments, please remain seated; and in your own prayers, I would ask you to consider the many students of the College who now (and in the future) — will be most benefited by your generous gift.

Concluding Rite:

May God who brings light to our minds and strength to our bodies, Guide us in all we do, So that each day we may find gladness and friendship.

And may almighty God bless you,

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint John Baptist de la Salle…. R. Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts…. R. Forever.








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