Dedication Ceremony fills Franciscan Center with joy and excitement

By Laura Sweeney

Staff, faculty, students, board members, contractors, government representatives, Felician Sisters, and many more guests filled the new student gathering area in the Franciscan Center Thursday, Oct. 15.  

As people walked in, they heard Charles Walker, a Madonna University student, playing the harp, along with the many conversations of anticipation for the dedication ceremony.

When the time came for the ceremony to begin, the people standing in the back were invited to view it in the new lecture hall directly behind the gathering area.

There, a live feed of the ceremony played on the projection screen and allowed more people to view the ceremony and do so comfortably. This same feed played live on the Madonna University Web site.

The presentation of the ceremony in the lecture hall showed how technology has become a part of the new Franciscan Center for Science and Media and what it offers the students of Madonna University.

At times during the ceremony, the feed would freeze and the speeches delayed, leaving the onlookers to fill in the missing pieces.

"The stuttering is caused by Internet traffic. I apologize," said one of the many people assisting with the event. During this time of day, the Internet can be very busy causing the connection to suffer, she added.

However, the emotion of the day was one thing that could not be misinterpreted. Excitement and joy from this great accomplishment filled the air.

“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here today,” said Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa, President of Madonna University. The large turnout seemed to be overwhelming to the president.

“I said I would not do this,” she said while starting to become emotional while thanking the multiple people and groups who helped make it possible.

After her touching speech, Archbishop Allen Vigneron blessed the new building while the Madonna University Chorale and Dr. David Wagner performed. After, His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida and His Eminence Edmund Cardinal Szoka said a prayer and a blessing before being presented with the illustration of the soon-to-be Cardinals Square, located outside the Franciscan Center.

When the ceremony came to a close, the audience dispersed to explore the new, green features the building has to offer. Guided tours were provided or people could venture down the hallways themselves, by using the map located on the back of the dedication program.

“‘Do whatever it takes. Do whatever needs to be done’,” said Sr. Rose Marie, quoting the foundress of the Felician Sisters, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska. While walking around the new Franciscan Center, it was evident that these words were used as inspiration.

Others decided to enjoy each others’ company over punch and snacks located in the various seminar rooms and by the balcony, where others had been viewing the ceremony.

The ceremony went smoothly and the hard work put into the building dedication paid off. And as stated by Sr. Rose Marie during the ceremony, “God bless all who will learn and teach” in the Franciscan Center for Science and Media today and in the years to come.