Wishing you a Joyous Spring

Dear Members of the USF Community,

As springtime arrives on our campus, in our city, and throughout the Bay Area, I am sure you are enjoying the bursts of color in gardens and public spaces, as well as anticipating the joy and renewal that comes with this season.

In the Western Christian tradition, this week is Holy Week. With many in our community, I am reflecting on the life of Jesus, commemorating his death on Good Friday (March 29), and celebrating the hope and promise of the resurrection on Easter Sunday (March 31).

Almost all Eastern Rite Christians will observe Holy Week beginning at the end of April, and will celebrate Easter Sunday on May 5.

Of course, many traditions and rituals of spring important to our community members have already taken place or are underway.

Chinese New Year festivals took place in February. Earlier this month, the ancient celebration of Nowruz (“new day” in Persian) was celebrated by Iranians and many Persian-speaking people. Additionally, the exuberance of Holi — the Hindu Festival of Colors — was celebrated globally on March 25.

Muslims around the world will continue to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan until April 9 (depending on the sighting of the crescent moon). This time of increased prayer, fasting, and devotion to God recalls the revelation of the Qu’ran and encourages self-reflection and community.

In a few weeks, Passover begins on the evening of April 22 and ends on the evening of April 30. This eight-day Jewish holiday commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery.

A commonality amongst these traditions is an emphasis on taking time out of our busy lives to reflect on renewal and rejuvenation. Let us all be sure to take a moment this season to pause and be thankful for what has been, what is, and the possibilities of what will be.

Please join me in wishing a joyous spring to all members of our beloved community — near and far — who are celebrating with family, friends, and loved ones in diverse and meaningful ways at this special time of year.

Wishing you the blessings of hope and peace,
Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J.

P.S. While different religious celebrations are particularly numerous in the spring, our community celebrates faith traditions all year long. Please see the university's interfaith calendar.