Fr. Watters celebrated the Academy's opening of the school year Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Ignatius Church. Academy graduate and Peabody Institute Conservatory senior, Tariq Al-Sabir sang and played the piano for the Mass. As an introduction to the Mass, Fr. Watters noted that we are on the site of where the Academy started 22 years ago. The first reading was from Sirach:
If you wish, you can be taught;
if you apply yourself, you will be shrewd.
If you are willing to listen, you will learn; if you give heed, you will be wise.
During the homily, Fr. Watters asked student to reflect on the readings using questions in the Mass Program. Students shared answer with one another in their pews, and then Fr. Watters asked for students to share their responses and thoughts. One student stated that we can learn best at "God's doorstep." Fr. Watters asked, "where God's doorstep was located?" Students gave a variety of answers including, "in heaven," and "at churches." Fr. Watters reminded students that "We are God's doorstep." Students talked about using their gifts to strengthen the Academy and the Baltimore community. Several students mentioned using their gifts to make the world more peaceful.
At the concluding rite, Fr. Watters asked the Academy's faculty and staff to come out of their pews into the center aisle. Fr. Watters then led all students in a blessing to pray for their teachers for the start of the school year.