‘Faith calls us to remember’
The university of Dayton community — on campus and beyond — has suffered much in the last year. It mirrors the loss felt by so many around the world, the result of natural cycles of life and death compounded by the conditions of the pandemic.
The University has mourned the death of five students; numerous current and former staff and faculty members, including the dean of the School of Business Administration; and 10 Marianists from the Dayton community since last August. On the pages of Class Notes in the spring 2021 UD Magazine are listed alumni and friends who have recently died, twice the number as is found in an average issue. Some of them were affected by the COVID-19 virus, including six Marianists who contracted it at a care center near the end of their lives.
In a reflection he prepared for the UD Magazine audience, Father Jim Fitz, S.M. ’68, vice president for mission and rector, writes that, in the face of death, faith calls us to remember.
“Whenever we as Catholic Christians gather at the Eucharist, we break bread as Jesus asked us: ‘Do this in memory of me,’” he writes.
“Memory is important to us as Christians. Faith calls us to remember.
‘Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended.’
“At all of the funeral liturgies that I have attended, we are invited to remember important tenets of our faith — the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the creedal statement about our own resurrection from the dead and life everlasting. This truth is clearly proclaimed in a prayer used at many of those celebrations. ‘Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended.’”
Colorful strips of cloth bore the petitions and prayers of those who participated this winter in a virtual prayer service open to the entire community. Participants prayed for health and strength, for those who are suffering and those who have died. They also offered prayers of hope and celebrated God’s promise of everlasting life.
Writes Fitz, “We not only remember our faith in the resurrection, but we remember the energy of love expressed in the lives of those who had died. ... Let us remember the gift that our beloved family, friends and co-workers have been in our life; how they have revealed to us the face of God.”
To read the reflection in its entirety, visit udayton.edu/magazine/2021/03/reflection.php.
Brett Collins ’90
Assistant purchasing manager,
UD Research Institute
“Brett enjoyed taking a creative approach to problem solving and always followed through no matter the challenge. He will be remembered for being cheerful, personable and helpful to all who reached out.”
—Jon Borgwardt, UDRI
Brother Victor Forlani, S.M. ’65
Center for Integration of Faith and Work
“One of Brother Victor’s gifts was that he constantly tried to connect people, creating a really rich space for new ideas. He practiced patient listening, finding something good about everyone’s idea, creating an environment where people engaged.” —Jay Janney, associate professor
Brother Don Geiger, S.M. ’55
Retired professor of biology
“I came to understand this most important of Brother Don’s lessons: Learn simply because you are curious and want to appreciate life on this Earth.” —Nan Schivone ’94
“Mark was always a quiet presence in charge of the day-to-day operations of labs. His presence, humor and friendly disposition will be missed.” —Vladimir Benin, professor