Current, former Aggies turn St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish maroon
KELLER – Father James Flynn celebrated the Maroon Mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Keller on May 27 with about 100 former, current, and prospective Aggies.
“Howdy Ags” said Fr. Flynn, class of 1996, as he began his homily with an Aggie tall tale and ended with “pull out your rosary and pull out your saber of salvation when faced with evil and temptation.”
Meg Ruhter, class of 2012 and coordinator of Youth Ministry of Holy Family Parish in Fort Worth, and four Aggie friends were the organizers for the first Maroon Mass in the Diocese of Fort Worth. They wanted to celebrate a Maroon Mass when Texas A&M students returned for the summer to connect with other Catholic Aggies in the Fort Worth area.
“Not only are we Aggies, but more importantly we are members of the mystical Body of Christ,” Ruhter said. She appreciates seeing Aggies attend St. Mary’s Church in College Station and seeing “students’ hearts are set on fire for God.” When they return to Fort Worth they want to dive into Catholic life at a parish.
Irina Robison finished her first year studying cybersecurity at A&M and heard about the Maroon Mass from her cousin who attends St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She enjoyed her first year and is looking forward to meeting Aggie Catholics.
After the Mass, a reception was held where past, present, and future Aggies gathered in a circle and sang a fight song which is sung at sporting events and pep rallies, explained Jenara Kocks Burgess, class of 1998.
In the sea of maroon, there were at least two fathers who did not go to Texas A&M. Gordon Smith admitted to graduating from the University of Texas, but quickly pointed out he has three sons who graduated from A&M. He wore a maroon shirt and said, “I even sang the Aggie War Hymn.” His son, Andy Smith, graduated in 2003 and drove down from Gainesville with him.
In addition to Ruhter, other alumni who coordinated the Mass include Audrey Elizondo, class of 2017, who attends Holy Family and created graphics to promote the Mass; Matthew Fuhrmann, class of 2018, coordinated catering with Austin Moroney, class of 2016; Emily Kasper, class of 2009, and Moroney attend St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and helped bring this Texas A&M Mass to Keller.
Ruhter hopes for a bigger turnout next year and is planning to start a tradition for the Maroon Mass to be celebrated at the end of May, when most graduating Aggies are back in town.
By Amanda Deats-Coello, North Texas Catholic