Jan 07, 2019
Dmitriy Ivanov

Assumption Celebrates Founders Week with Immigration-centric Events

With a focus on the theme of immigration, Assumption will mark the beginning of a weeklong observance and celebration of “Founders Week” on Thursday, Sept. 6. Founders Week, a celebration of the mission of the Augustinians of the Assumption who founded and continue to sponsor the institution, features a number of events that provide an opportunity for community-wide reflection on the impact of the Assumptionists here in Worcester and abroad. Members of the public and Assumption community are welcome to attend any of the events.

“For many years, the annual ‘Assumption Day’ was held in January for the Assumption community to celebrate and obtain a deeper understanding of our mission,” said Fr. Richard Lamoureux, A.A. vice president for mission. “During Founders Week, a reference to the Augustinians of the Assumption that founded the institution in 1904, we as a community of learning and faith will explore other dimensions of our rich mission. This year, focusing on the theme of immigration, the Assumption community will pray, reflect, become informed, and then act upon this issue that is continuously impacting our nation, city and our community.”

Annual Mass of the Holy Spirit
Thursday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m.
Chapel of the Holy Spirit

Since the first Catholic university was founded in 1088, until today, a tradition has existed where these institutions of higher learning begin the academic year with a Mass during which congregants pray to God for guidance, strength and wisdom. Assumption has hosted such a Mass since its founding in 1904 and will continue the tradition with a Mass presided by The Most Rev. Robert McManus, Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester. Fr. John Madden, a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, will deliver the homily. Fr. Madden founded of St. Francis Xavier Center, a soup kitchen at St. John’s Parish that serves hundreds of people each week. Fr. Madden’s experience and insights will be a great contribution to our conversations and reflections during the week as he discusses his ministry to the immigrant community.

Tastes of the World Lunch & Refugee Artisans of Worcester Display
Thursday, Sept. 6, 12:30 p.m.
Taylor Dining Hall

Following the Thursday Mass, Assumption will host a “Tastes of the World” luncheon during which members of the campus community can explore different types of food from an international menu. Simultaneously in Taylor, Refugee Artisans of Worcester will exhibit their own work and offer it for sale. At 6 p.m. in the D’Alzon Library, a community art exhibit will open, “Immigrate-Emigrate.” This exhibit features the work of artists who have contributed their visual interpretations of the migration journey, either personally or culturally. The works presented are intended to spark conversation about immigration from a personal perspective.

Service Day at Noonday Farm & Migration Walk
Sunday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; 4:30 p.m.

Assumption students, faculty and staff are invited to engage in a service opportunity at Noonday Farm in Winchendon. Noonday donates a significant portion of their harvest to local families in need. To raise awareness of the struggle of immigrants, a Migration Walk will take place at 4:30 p.m. on the Assumption campus. Masses will be offered at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Agape Latte
Monday, Sept. 10, 8:15 p.m.
Charlie’s, Hagan Campus Center

Sister Mary Ann Azanza of the Religious Sisters of the Assumption will be the guest speaker at Agape Latte when she will share her personal journey, exploring the theme “Pancit, Pupusas and Pizza: An Immigrant’s Story.” The event will open with a live musical performance and conclude with a question-and-answer session, then homemade desserts and fair trade espresso coffee. 

Inauguration of the Center for Global Studies & Study Abroad Fair
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 5:30 p.m.
Testa Atrium, Testa Science Center

Assumption will formally dedicate its new Center for Global Studies and Study Abroad on Tuesday. The founding of Assumption is itself rooted in the global flow of people and ideas that resulted in French Assumptionists moving first to New York and Louisiana and then finally to Massachusetts. The global studies major and minor are thus deeply rooted in the institution’s history and in its mission to create thoughtful and ethical citizens and leaders. The academic program is designed to help students understand how countries across the globe are linked together ecologically, economically, geographically and politically. Students study how different societies affect and are affected by economic growth, migration, climate change, poverty, conflict, and geo-locational constraints.

“Bracing for Impact” Lecture & Discussion on Immigration
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.
Tsotsis Family Academic Center Ballroom

Assumption will host a community-wide event titled, “Bracing for Impact,” which features a presentation by Associate Professor of Spanish Esteban Loustaunau, Ph.D., on Father Guy Leroy, A.A., who founded “Accompagner” (“Accompany”) in Brussels to provide assistance to immigrants and those living in poverty. This ministry is carried out by a team of lay volunteers who are trained to accompany those in need to visit a lawyer to discuss immigration matters; work with government agencies and nonprofits or any other entity to resolve an individual’s challenges. The ministry was recently expanded to Madrid, Spain, to serve the growing refugee population there. Following the talks, by means of table exhibitions, attendees will learn about seven different Assumption projects in the world that address the needs of immigrants.  The event will conclude with attendees gathering to discuss how they might impact the issue of immigration globally and on the Assumption campus.

Community Engagement Fair
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Charlie’s, Hagan Campus Center

Compassionate service is a cornerstone of the Assumption mission. The evening will conclude with a Community Engagement Fair in Charlie’s where students can learn more about on and off campus volunteer opportunities and sign-up to join a group with their next project.

United Way Day of Caring
Thursday, Sept. 13

On Thursday, the Assumption community will participate in a Day of Caring sponsored by the United Way. More than 1,000 volunteers will head out to locations across Central Massachusetts to help local nonprofit organizations with repairs and improvements during the annual United Way of Central Massachusetts Day of Caring.