Archdiocese of Dubuque celebrates 175 years during Mercy Week Mass

Mercy Week MassFrom left to right: Father Thomas Zinkula, Father Dustin Vu, Sister Shari Sutherland, President Christopher Blake, and Associate Professor of Business Anne King.

Mount Mercy University was pleased to welcome Father Thomas Zinkula, vicar general of Cedar Rapids, to campus for a special Mass on Sunday, September 23, in celebration of both the Archdiocese of Dubuque's 175th anniversary and Mercy and Mission week at Mount Mercy. All Catholic colleges and universities within the Archdiocese commemorated the anniversary with a special Mass. Mount Mercy is also celebrating Mercy and Mission Week, paying tribute to the university's Mercy, Catholic heritage.

He also noted the role Mount Mercy has played in the Archdiocese and referred to the university's brand promise in which students of diverse backgrounds, ages and faiths experience a practical education that will serve as inspiration while discovering knowledge, building community, and leading courageous lives. He encouraged students in the congregation to explore the opportunities available through Mount Mercy for leadership, compassion, service and purposeful living. 

The Archdiocese of Dubuque is centering its anniversary celebration around the theme of "Jesus Alive Through 175 Years." Fr. Zinkula spoke of the role higher education plays in the Archdiocese and referred to scripture readings from the book of James, which speak of seeking wisdom from above.

"Mount Mercy is seeking to impart wisdom to students through its mission," Fr. Zinkula said. "This is not just an opportunity for career launching, but the chance to work for the common good and serve others."

Quoting Pope John Paul II, Fr. Zinkula said Catholic institutions of higher education are born from the heart of the Catholic church and should offer mutual dialogue exploring faith and reason. Selfish ambitions, jealousy and competition focused on only one individual are ways of seeking wisdom from below, he said.

"Jesus wants people to aspire to be at their best; to direct their ambitions towards a mission rather than themselves. Remove yourself from the 'it's all about me' mentality and think about your community and the common good," Fr. Zinkula said. "You must decide if you will seek wisdom from above or wisdom from below."

Mercy and Mission Week activities will continue through Friday at Mount Mercy. Activities open to the public include an Inter-Faith service in the Chapel of Mercy at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, September 25, in which faiths from across the world will be explored and represented. On Thursday, September 27, Mount Mercy will host Dr. Christine Pharr, vice president for academic affairs at College of Saint Mary's in Omaha, Neb. Dr. Pharr will share "My Conversion to a Catholic, Mercy College," at 7:00 p.m. in Flaherty Community Room in Basile Hall. Both events are free to attend; seating may be limited. 

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