NEW YORK - Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., invited hundreds of members of the Fordham community to pray for Fordham University's 32nd president, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., during the Inaugural Eucharist and Commissioning Ceremony at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan on Thursday, Oct. 23.
The Fordham community filled every pew, leaving some to stand in the back of the church. During the ceremony, representatives from the student body, faculty, Fordham's Jesuit community and the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, offered advice and well wishes to the new president.
The ceremony participants told Father McShane to cherish the special spirit of the university community, while challenging students to be men and women of the magis- a Latin word that simply means "more," but also describes the distinct character of Jesuit education, which encourages men and women to seek the greater glory of God in all that they do. The participants also suggested that he be humble enough to seek advice and urged him to "keep the hunger for wisdom alive in your heart."
Cardinal Dulles, the last to give the president his charge, advised Father McShane to remember the dream of Archbishop John Hughes, who founded the University to prepare students for positions of leadership.
"Fordham's history has been hallowed by the sacrifices and affection of generations of New Yorkers who have given much to realize Archbishop Hughes' dream," Dulles said. "Therefore, bind yourself closely to the people of New York. Make their hopes and dreams your own and invite the University ever to keep faith with them and with its founder's vision."
Father McShane offered his gratitude for the prayers and advice that he received.
"I am especially aware of the graces that have come to me from the church, the Society of Jesus, the city of my birth and our beloved Fordham," said Father McShane. "I cannot help but be humbled by the trust that you have placed in me. … I pledge to you the full measure of my devotion."
A reception in the Atrium Café on the Lincoln Center campus followed the Eucharist and Commissioning Ceremony.