Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • May
  • 3

Assumption dedicates Tinsley Campus Ministry Center

Posted By May 3, 2012 | 11:57 am | Local

Photos by Laura Lambert, see more in Photo Galleries

A moment of grace

By Laura Lambert
CFP Correspondent

The internal architecture of Assumption College’s new Tinsley Campus Ministry Center connects the chapel and the center “where the Blessed Sacrament is preserved,” Bishop McManus noted in his homily at the dedication last Friday.
“In this space, through personal prayer and adoration, students will come to love and serve him more reverently,” the Bishop said.
Francesco Cesareo, president of the college, compared previous campus ministry experiences to the Israelites’ period of wandering in the desert.  In the new “promised land,” which the Assumption community has awaited for 10 years, he said, “students will deepen their relationships with God and strengthen their spirituality for the rest of their lives.”
Following a brief ribbon cutting, the assembly processed into the Chapel of the Holy Spirit where the bold, celebratory sounds of a brass orchestra heralded the unveiling of the Saint John’s Bible which was read from during the Liturgy of the Word.
Bishop McManus celebrated the Mass alongside several Assumptionists. He recognized the new building as a significant addition to Assumption’s campus.
“The new Tinsley Campus Ministry Center will be a beacon to students of Catholic colleges,” he said.  “Students will come to the center to encounter God.”
Following Mass, Bishop McManus led the congregation into the Tinsley center where he blessed each room.  He said, “My prayer is that Assumption College will continue to be an authentic Catholic college and will help students be truly free to live in the freedom of our Lord.”
Students in attendance represented the college’s campus ministry and music programs. Carly Finnegan, Chapel Choir and class of 2013 member, expressed her appreciation for the role music played in the celebration.  “The music was the most special part for me because every single voice of the Chapel Choir was powerful and made the spirit come alive,” she said.  She said the new facility has the potential to become a vibrant part of campus life.  “It seems like this can be a central location.  I see big and beautiful things happening here in the future,” she said.
President Cesareo expressed his own prayerful thanks. “This was a moment of blessing for the college,” he said. “This project really speaks to the heart of the Catholic institution.  In this center, there will be spiritual formation and true encounters with God. This is truly a moment of grace for us,” he said.


St John’s Bible open to public

By Laura Lambert
CFP Correspondent

The new Saint John’s Bible on the Assumption College campus can be a tool for evangelizing through beauty, history and art, according to Benedictine Father Michael Patella.
Father Patella offered a talk on the artwork in the heavily illustrated Bible as a continuation of the college’s festivities surrounding the dedication of the Tinsley Campus Ministry Center.
A Scripture scholar, theologian and professor at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., Father Patella was a member of the committee that organized the Bible project and he influenced the Scripture and current events-based metaphors present in the artwork.
The concept for an “illuminated” Bible began in 1995 through conversations with Sir Donald Jackson, calligrapher to Queen Elizabeth II.  Mr. Jackson, who greatly wished to make a Bible, quickly became head calligrapher for the project, Father Patella said. The dedication booklet calls Mr. Jackson a contemporary scribe and illuminator.
Discussing the reason behind such an endeavor, Father Patella explained that he and his fellow monks wanted to create a fusion of old and new as a means of honoring the coming millennium.  “It was a way to reach out for the new millennium,” he said.  “People can associate a life of faith with being a sourpuss, but it can be fun and we do a lot to show that it’s not true.”
The primary goal in creating the Saint John’s Bible was to combine the past and present.  “We incorporated old and new,” Father Patella explained.  “We used old art techniques such as pens, quills, paint and gold and silver foil, but we used contemporary images in media.”
For example, the Bible includes art based on satellite images, aerial views of the Nile River delta, and photographs of the 2001 tsunami in Japan.  Surprisingly, even sounds were represented in the art.  Father Patella described with excitement the syllograms, which visually symbolized the singing of the Office by the Benedictines, the Muslim call to prayer, and a sung Jewish prayer.
Members of the Assumption community expressed their appreciation for Father Patella’s discussion. Campus Minister James Rizza said, “The presentation gives us a sense of how to use this Bible evangelically. Art is an important part of evangelization. I can see copies of the artwork being used as supplements to concerts and liturgical dance. These art forms, particularly the Saint John’s Bible can help the community to have a greater appreciation for everything that is contained in Scripture.”
Sister Catherine Soley, R.A., also recognized the way art and Scripture writings complement one another.  “Looking at the Saint John’s Bible, you enter into the visual images, which then lead you to the meaning of the text,” she said.  “Even the balance of the calligraphy brings you closer to the text.”
Father Patella said his Benedictine brethren and Saint John’s University have a historic appreciation for the arts.  As an example, Father Patella explained that Saint John’s founded the country’s first public radio station.  However, the Benedictines look to the future, hoping that the Saint John’s Bible will grow to be a valuable tool in evangelization.  “This is a great tradition for the new generation,” he said.  “The Saint John’s Bible is a great piece for revitalizing interest in Scripture.  It is a tool for evangelizing through beauty, history and art rather than threats and fear.  Art,” he explained, “is a way to experience God.”
At the ministry center dedication Friday, Assumptionist Father Dennis Gallagher, the college’s vice president for mission, said, “It was a happy moment to place the Saint John’s Bible because it reinforces the sense of a pastoral and active response to hearing or listening to God’s word.”
According to the dedication program, three of seven volumes are on display in the Tinsley Campus Ministry Center from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.  The volumes are to be opened to the passages of the Sunday liturgy readings.

Honoring the Tinsley family

Assumption College’s Tinsley Campus Ministry Center is named in honor of the family of John and Helen Tinsley, according to Assumptionist Father Dennis Gallagher, the college’s vice president for mission,.
John and Helen Tinsley were a prominent couple in Worcester in the 1900s. They were survived by their daughter Molly who had severe developmental disabilities.  Following the death of his wife in 1941, John Tinsley, CEO and president of Crompton and Knowles Loom Works, Worcester’s largest textile loom manufacturer, became friendly with the local Assumptionists who were living in the Greendale area of Worcester, Father Gallagher said.
“He spent so much time with the Assumptionists that they called him ‘Brother John,’” he said.
Although Mr. Tinsley died in 1952, the plaque in the entrance of the building explains that he set up a trust fund that continued to provide for the care of his daughter until her death in 2008, at the age of 94. Mr. Tinsley used the same fund to make donations to several colleges, including Assumption College.  His donation became the seed money with which the new campus ministry center was built.
“It seemed appropriate to name the new campus ministry center after him and to use his donation for it because his association with the school came through his connections with the Assumptionists,”  Father Gallagher said.  “It was a good fit.”

PHOTO: The prominent location of the new campus ministry center highlights “an important aspect of the life of the college, namely the spiritual formation of our students,” President Francesco Cesareo said. Photo by Laura Lambert