4/20/2014 4:15:55 AM

Sprinkling in the Franciscan Spirit

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

By Kristen Bossio '16

Since its founding in 1937, Siena College has been guided by the principles and teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi. As professors, mentors and friends, the friars connect students with the Franciscan spirit. They reside on campus, some living among students in the residence halls. To further connect students with the College’s Franciscan identity, at the beginning of every school year, students can sign up to have their rooms blessed by their Friar-in-Residence.

Over the course of three nights, the friars visited each room, sprinkled holy water on the room and its residents and delivered a short blessing. The process, although mostly uniform, varied slightly from hall to hall.

“In Plassmann, the friar sprayed the doorway with a Super Soaker!” said Meghan Zimmerman ’17.

Ryan Hall Friar-in-Residence and Director of the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy Fr. Russel Murray, O.F.M., Ph.D., said that the room blessings have been going on for years. “It’s a way for the room to become more than a place to just sleep and do homework. It is an invitation to anyone here at the college to welcome God into their home for the year,” said Murray.

Murray said that his favorite part about participating in this Siena College tradition is meeting the students. He certainly had an interesting night. Within an hour-and-a-half, Murray blessed a fish and a hallway’s resident plant. He also enjoyed Chinese food and homemade cookies.

Getting to know the friars through the room blessing is fun for students as well. Many of them were smiling when the blessing was through.

“It’s a very nice way to start off the year and it brings calm to what can be an overwhelming time,” said Vicky Rybnick ’14, who has had her room blessed all four years she’s been at Siena. “It’s also a nice way to get to know the Friar-in-Residence.”

Blessing residence hall rooms is one of the many fun, interactive ways in which Franciscan tradition is brought directly to students at Siena College.

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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