Marywood Kicks-off the Year with Its Annual Opening Liturgy and Picnic

Published on Tue, September 06, 2011

On Thursday, September 8, Marywood will kick-off the academic year with its 97th annual Opening Liturgy and Picnic. Festivities are scheduled to begin at 11 A.M. in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts, where the opening liturgy will take place.

The liturgy is followed by a picnic in the Nazareth Student Center. Scheduled between noon and 1:30 P.M., the picnic will include food and music.

From his office in the Swartz Center, John Coval, director of conferences and events, while in an interview, discussed the significance of September 8th and what it means for the Marywood community.

“The history of September 8th dates back decades and includes strong traditions of the university,” Coval said. “This year we are welcoming the class of 2015, which will be the graduating class of our centennial year.”

September 8th, which is the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is also the Feast Day of the IHM Congregation—a special date for many meaningful celebrations in Marywood’s history.

Memorable September 8ths


  • September 8, 1902: Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary officially opened in the IHM Motherhouse, and the arch in front of the building is officially dedicated. The Motherhouse-Seminary had been built after overcoming a number of obstacles, namely the attempts of the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad to extend a line from Scranton to Carbondale on a proposed route that would cut directly across the Green Ridge property. Mother Cyril Conway, IHM, Mother Superior of the IHM Congregation at the time, single-handedly convinced railroad officials to select an alternate route for their proposed extension. A shrine to Our Lady of Victory was built—and still stands—on the spot where railroad surveyors had been seen making preliminary calculations.

  • September 8, 1915: The date that Marywood College officially opened with a class of 34 women, one of whom was Sister St. Mary Orr, IHM, who later became its eighth president. Marywood was the first college for women in Northeast Pennsylvania and the first Catholic college for women in the entire state.

  • September 8, 2002: Centenary celebration of the Marywood Arch.