Academic Meeting or Event Prayers

Opening Prayer for a Meeting

Lord, we are meeting today to conduct matters of business.
Guide our hearts and our minds in the spirit of fairness, right
thought and speech. Impart Your supreme wisdom upon our
activities so that our affairs may reach a successful conclusion.
Thank You for being our source of guidance today. Amen.


You Give Us Life

God, our Creator, You give us life and support us with love.
Send your Spirit of compassion to dwell in our midst as
we meet here today. Help us to be respectful and just in our
discernment and decisions. May we be mindful of the needs
of all in our community and help us to honor one another in a
courteous manner. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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We Seek to Be Good Stewards

Good and loving God, Source of every grace and blessing,
We give You thanks this day for the many gifts you have
given us. We seek to be good stewards, Lord. Bless us as we
gather here to share Your gifts. Send us Your Spirit and be pres-
ent among us in the mouths of all who speak, in the ears of all
who listen, and at the heart of all we say and do. We ask this in
Jesus’ name. Amen.

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An Invocation

Holy One, Dear One,
One Who knows us more intimately
than we know ourselves
We present ourselves in this assembly
at the start of a new academic year
in the hopes that You will reveal Yourself in our midst,
in our thoughts, in our desires,
in our conversations, in our work,
in our frustrations, in our anguish,
in our enthusiasm, in our joys
and in the blessed peace
that is an inherent, if elusive, part of our very selves.
Help us open our hearts and minds
to our own largesse
that we might become the people
You love to call Your own.

- Gillian Ahlgren, PhD.

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Gifts of Our Ignatian Heritage

Loving God,
We come to you filled with gratitude for making us partners in your ongoing work of creation.
You call us to be part of this community and bless us with a unique legacy
That began with Ignatius Loyola and has been passed
From generation to generation.

The gift of our mission, founded on the practice of reflection and discernment,
Enables us to make decisions which call us to stand in solidarity and kinship
With all those who share our earthly journey
And moves us to perform active service rooted in justice and love.

These gifts of our Ignatian heritage invite us to be part of a tradition
That builds on the wisdom of the past
With a vision open to the opportunities of the future.

These gifts also challenge us to move beyond our norm,
To broaden our imagination,
To deepen our trust,
And to establish your kingdom here on earth.

Fill us with enthusiasm and wonder as we receive these gifts
With open minds, generous hearts, and a willing spirit.
Following the example of St. Ignatius, may we, too,
"labor and ask for no reward except that of knowing we are doing your will."
May we take full possession of this heritage and joyfully pass it on
To those generous men and women
Who walk behind us into the future.

- Br. Darrell Burns, S.J.

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Prayer 1

Hear us, O God, above us.
Hear us, O God, within us
We ask on this day that you lead us to value and to celebrate our diversity,
And to recognize and to offer up on the altar of our common purpose
the distinctive gifts by which we enrich each other and our mission.
Help us to cherish both our talents and our interdependence as we make
common cause in the service of you and all your people.

- Joe Wessling

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Prayer 2

Most merciful God,
be with us today as we gather together in this place.
As we awoke this morning, we felt the first chill of winter's frost.
Yet, you brought us a beautiful day full of blue sky and the amazing array of colors of the fall leaves.
We are so grateful for the beauty you give to us.
Beauty that is given freely to us.we do nothing to earn it.
Your abundant grace and unconditional love for us is evident all around!
We are indeed blessed!

May all that we do further our Ignatian mission with our co-workers and the students you trust to our care.
May we always feel the protection of your loving arms around us.

- Daun Seitz

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Prayer 3

God of All,
God of all blessings, open our hearts that we may recognize the gifts You have given us.
God of all wonders, open our eyes that we may see You in all things.
God of justice, open our ears that we may hear the cry of the poor and disenfranchised.
God of all time, open our minds to the joys of reflective moments with You.
We stand, in gratitude for Your gifts.
We stand, in awe of Your wonders.
We stand; ready to do Your good work.
We stand, in this moment; ready to learn and open to growth.

- Donna Geraci

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Prayer 4

Gracious God,
With joy, we now join here together to celebrate,
as some look back on times past and as others look forward to times yet to come.

We rejoice in the opportunity to become better acquainted with our colleagues while finding You in them.
We are grateful for the encouragement we receive to seek to know You as the source and substance of the mission and identity of our place of employment.
We are humbled to be entrusted with the service and promotion of social justice in our local and global communities. We ask that You guide us in this service.
We praise You for Your generous gift of life and love and ask for Your help in sharing that love with everyone we meet.

- Sheila Doran

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Prayer 5

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the opportunity to gather here today
to celebrate the Xavier Mentor-Mentee Program.
In learning from our mentors, please help us to
use the advice they have given us to make 
the most of our time here and in life after Xavier.

Bless this food and bless all of us as we go 
to do Your work in the world.

We ask this in Your name.


- Kristen M. Kennedy, '13, Entrepreneurial Studies & Marketing

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Prayer 6

Gracious God,
We thank you for having called us here together.
At the start of this academic program we ask for your help.
For the students,
Please open their minds to learning and new ideas,
Provide them with strength and perseverance, and help them to be patient.
For the sponsors, families, friends, and loved ones,
Help them to be supportive and understanding throughout this program.
For the faculty,
Challenge the students and help them grow intellectually.
All this we ask in your name,

- Rob Munson

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Prayer 7

Lord Jesus, our brother,
you have promised to be present among us
whenever we come together in your name.
Remain with us as we meet
for the benefit and love of your people.
Guide us in our discussions,
and help us to do everything for your honor and glory
and for the salvation of your Church.

- Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 188.

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Prayer 8

Heavenly Father,
send the Spirit of your Son
to remain with us during our meeting.
Let him guide us, and inspire us
to think and speak according to the mind of Jesus.
Fill us with your joy and love,
and help us to put our plans into practice.

- Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 188.

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Prayer 9

Jesus, good shepherd,
lead us through darkness, to light:
be with us always.

- Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 188.

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We Bow Our Heads

We bow our heads collectively
To give you thanks for your ever present grace
Glory and honor for the countless mercies bestowed upon us.

We ask that you grant us the patience to endure all hardships
The wisdom to make a difference in the situations which we can control
And the understanding to navigate through the difficult times we all face
And when the end of each day approaches
Let your magnificent peace settle our hearts and minds
As your everlasting love carries us all from day to blessed day.

In Jesus name, Amen.

- David Bryant

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Civic Meeting 1

Lord our God,
look with love on the people of this community
and keep them safe in your service.
Guide the members of this council,
and help them to work together
for the good of all.
Bless their plans and deliberations,
and bring them to success.

- Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 190.

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Civic Meeting 2

Blessed are you, Lord our God,
maker of the universe and Father of all.
Guide the members of this meeting
and help them to serve the people of N.
Bring success to their work
and reward them for the good they do.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 191.

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Business Meeting 1

Father in heaven,
bless us as we gather today for this meeting.
Guide our minds and hearts
so that we will work
for the good of our community,
and help all your people.
Teach us to be generous in our outlook,
courageous in face of difficulty,
and wise in our decisions.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 193.

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Business Meeting 2

Praise to you, Lord God, king of the universe:
you have made the world for us to live in.
Grant us light
to know the needs of our community,
and strength to make wise decisions
for the benefit of all.
Do not let self-interest or greed influence us,
for you have chosen us to serve your people.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 193.

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Conference or Convention Prayer

Heavenly Father,
maker of heaven and earth,
you have chosen us to be your people:
help us to give you glory in everything we do.

Bless this N.,
and let it bring may people together.
Help us to meet one another in joy
and to gain many benefits
from being here together.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 194.

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Special Project 1

Blessed are you, Lord God,
ruler of all creation:
you know our hearts and our plans,
and guide all that we do for your glory.
Grant that this project will be for your honor
and for the benefit of all your people.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 195.

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Special Project 2

Heavenly Father,
maker of heaven and earth,
we praise you for your glory.

Bless us as we continue to do our work,
and bless all that we do for you.
Help us to carry out all our activities
for your honor and glory
and for the salvation of your people.

Guide us in all we do,
and help us to build up your kingdom
and come to our reward
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,
A Book of Blessings (Ottawa, Canada: Publications Service, 1981), 195.

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Prayer for Opening a Meeting

We offer salutations and respect to all present at this meeting and
   to all who will be affected by it.
We brush off the chairs on which we sit -
   to make a clear space for a meeting of minds.
We brush off from our clothing any debris picked up on the way -
   to clear our minds of extraneous matters.
We wipe the blood from our hands -
   to acknowledge and apologize for any hurt we have inflicted.
We wipe the tears from our eyes -
   to acknowledge and forgive any hurt we have received.
We take the lump out of our throats -
   to let go of any sadness or disappointment.
We take the tightness out of our chests -
   to let go of any fear or resentment.
We acknowledge and pray for guidance -
   to the Great Creator Spirit of All Life.

(Adapted from historic treaty meeting protocol of the Iroquois, also known as the Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Confederacy; by Ralph Metzner)

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Drenched in Holiness: Prayer for a New year

Dear God, Spirit, Divine Mother,
On this day I ask You to grant this request,
May I know who I am and what I am,
Every moment of every day.
May I be a catalyst for light and love,
And bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet.
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,
And the courage to speak my voice, even when I'm scared.
May I have the humility to follow my heart,
And the passion to live my soul's desires.
May I seek to know the highest truth
And dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self.
May I embrace and love the totality of myself,
My darkness as well as my light.
May I be brave enough to hear my heart,
To let it soften so that I may gracefully
Choose faith over fear.
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands
Between the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity.
May I be drenched in my Holiness
And engulfed by Your love.
May all else melt away.
And so it is.

- Debbie Ford

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Peace Within

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

- St. Thérèse of Lisieux

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The Prayer of Oscar Romero

It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
It is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete,
Which is another way of saying that
The Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that should be said.
No prayer fully expressed our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
Knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produced effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
A step along the way,
An opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
But that is the difference
Between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
Ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own.

- Archbishop Oscar Romero

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A New Semester

Lord, as we prepare for the coming of a new semester.
Make us ready, attentive and available to hear you.

Thank You for the gift of being able
to rise each day with the assurance that
You walk through it with us.

Thank You for the gifts of creativity and uniqueness,
and the energy to put them to good use.

May all that we are today,
all that we try to do today,
may all our encounters, reflections,
even the frustrations and failings
all be placed in your hands.

May the work we do and the way we do it,
bring new hope, new life, and courage
to all we come in contact with this semester.
We thank you Lord, Amen.

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In Times of Transition

God of Love,
You are with us in every transition and change.
As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety,
we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love.
We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.
We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.
We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own work.
Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.
We ask this in your Holy Name.

- Joe Shadle


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Opening Prayer for Divisional Meeting

Delivered June 2012

Lord, God, we gather together unified in Your name this morning seeking guidance, wisdom, and support as we reflect on past accomplishments of the division and look ahead to working together to promote a brighter future for the University. Lord, grant us courage, boldness, and discernment as we engage in meaningful discussion in an effort to grow closer as a campus community.

Guide our minds and hearts throughout the year so that we work for the good of our community and help all Your people. Fill us with the grace of the Spirit and continue to remind us that all that we do and accomplish is for the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of You, and for the service of humanity. Help us to grow in peace and understanding with one another.

Lord, we thank You for the blessings that you have bestowed upon Xavier University and its employees. Help us to realize how thankful we are to be working at such a wonderful institution, and that God's presence accompanies us each day of our career.

In closing, bless our families, friends, and coworkers with the gifts of kindness, patience, love, and respect. Give us the grace to share these gifts. Empower us to enjoy the second half of this summer, whether at work or on vacation, before welcoming the students back at the end of August, as You lead all of us through a successful academic year.

Lord, we bring before you these prayers and the prayers that we hold silently in our hearts. We ask all of this in God's name. Amen.

- Allen Zernich

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Prayer for the Present Moment

Dear God,

I spend so much time reliving yesterday
or anticipating tomorrow
that I lose sight of the only time that is really mine,
the present moment.
You give today one moment at a time.
That's all I have,
all I ever will have.

At this moment, give a quieting of my mind
so I may truly listen to those with me today.

At this moment, give a thankfulness and appreciation
for the food we are about to share and for those that prepared it.

At this moment, give a sharing of myself
through reflective conversation with others.

We ask this in Your Holy Name,
You who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

- Connie Perme

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Bless This Unseen Work

Let us begin with a moment of silence to welcome God's presence -
Good and Loving God,
We thank you for creating the world in all its beauty.
We thank you for memory, which enables us to build on the experiences of the past;
for imagination, which admits us to a wider world than we could otherwise know;
and for foresight, by which we plan for the future.
Bless this unseen work that we do on behalf of Xavier's many students who, 
through their Jesuit education, 
will strive to make a difference in the world.
We ask this in your name.

- Joe Shadle

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Opening prayers for the President's Cabinet meetings

The Spirit to Know You

Gracious and Holy Father,
Please give me:
intellect to understand you,
reason to discern you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
a spirit to know you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
ears to hear you,
eyes to see you,
a tongue to proclaim you,
a way of life pleasing you,
patience to wait for you
and perseverance to look for you.
Grant me a perfect end,
your holy presence,
a blessed resurrection 
and life everlasting.

-Offered by Steve Herbert on November 27, 2012
Written by St. Benedict of Nursia

For more prayers from the Xavier University President's Cabinet Meetings click here.

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An Ignatian Prayer for Decision-Making Meetings

Good and loving God, our source of love and light -
Thank you for bringing us together today
                     in a spirit of generosity.
May we honor one another
                     by keeping an open mind.
May we voice our truth
                     and listen with an open heart.
May we discern your will
                     to unite in fruitful outcome.            
We ask for your wisdom and grace,
                    to use our talents for the betterment of others. 
With gratitude, we offer this prayer in your name.

                   -By Debra Mooney, PhD

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