April 9, 2020
A Holy Week and Easter Message from President Cesareo
Dear Assumption Faculty and Staff,

I hope this message finds you and your family well amid these uncertain times and enjoying unexpected time together.

Today, we begin the Paschal Triduum, a period in which we recall the passion,
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Triduum also marks a beginning of the end of the 40-day Lenten journey. As we reflect upon the past 40 days, we are aware of the many ways in which our lives have changed, but also the suffering many are experiencing. This is indeed a difficult time filled with fear and anxiety. This is not unlike the fear and uncertainty the disciples felt as Jesus was arrested and put to death, or the uncertainty of the Israelites as Moses led them out of Egypt, an event recalled by our Jewish brothers and sisters these days in their celebration of Passover. For Christians and Jews these days remind us that out of suffering comes hope and new life.

During this pandemic we may be experiencing our own form of suffering – loss of a job, isolation from a loved one such as an elderly parent because of social distancing, worry for a friend or family member who has been diagnosed with the virus, or the loss of a loved one. The Passion account that we read on Good Friday focuses our attention on the suffering of Christ. As we do so, we bring our own suffering to the foot of the cross. Gazing on the cross burdened with our sufferings we also know that out of death comes life. Good Friday leads to Easter joy. The resurrection of Christ brings us the promise of new life, giving us hope in the darkest of hours, such as the world is experiencing at this very moment. As I walk across campus, in the midst of the silence there are many signs of new life and hope as daffodils and tulips blossom, trees begin to bloom, and the chirping of birds fill the air. All signs of life and renewal that suggest this moment of challenge will one day come to an end.

These days of Holy Week and Passover call us to draw upon our faith to give us consolation, strength and hope because we believe that God does not abandon us. Easter is the feast of victory for us as Christ breaks the bonds of sin and death giving rise to new life. It is in the promise of this new life, which is the promise of Easter, that we place our hope, even during these days.

Thank you once again for the many sacrifices you continue to make in the service of our students during this challenging time. Filomena and I wish you and your family a happy and blessed Easter with the prayers that your homes be filled with hope, joy, and peace.

Happy Easter,
Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D.
President
500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA, 01609  (508) 767-7000