Sarah Carter ‘24
This past Saturday, October 2, 2021, students and respected alumni coalesced on the patio of the Jo to celebrate the formal blessing of the Jo and its newly named sidestreet Mahoney Way. The Jo, which first opened last semester, has been at the epicenter of many students’ on-campus recreational fitness and wellness endeavors. The construction of the Jo was an undertaking that spanned multiple years, made possible only by the munificent contributions of Holy Cross alum John Luth ‘74, and wife Joanne-Chouinard Luth, both of whom were present at the event.
Sporting balloon-centric decor and a stand-alone stage, the Jo patio offered a comfortable, well-sized space for event attendees (which there were many of) and passerby students to gather. The space was furnished with tens upon tens of white folding chairs from which to view the ceremony and a fewer number of wide tables bearing health-focused snack options for guests to munch on. The ceremony began promptly at 11:00, affording guests — adorned in Holy Cross apparel and semi-formal get-up — only a few sparse minutes to take in the grandeur of the decked-out patio.
Onlookers and attendees of the ceremony first heard from President of the College, Vincent D. Rogeau, who divulged how honored he felt to be present for the Christianizing of the Jo and Mahoney Way — named after John Mahoney, former chair of the Board of Trustees of the College. He remarked, “How appropriate that so many who enter this beautifully enhanced upper campus will do so by traveling on Mahoney Way,” before summoning John Mahoney himself to the podium and dismounting the stage.
John Mahoney similarly voiced his elation over the inauguration of Mahoney Way and the accompanying blessing of the Jo. Mahoney opened his speech by citing his passion for Holy Cross as an institution which has “ . . . been a catalyst for [his] family,” most of whom (including his father and great uncle, sister-in-law, and children) have attended Holy Cross. He closed his speech by noting that, “Our family looks forward to supporting [President Rougeau] as he leads Holy Cross for the next generation,” and reaffirming his conviction that, “Holy Cross will continue to grow strong, faith-filled leaders.”
President Rogeau then returned to the stand to warmly invite Joanne Chouinard-Luth to the stage. He expressed adulation and great respect for Chouinard-Luth, whose penchant for “. . . cultivating well-being through the holistic care of mind, body, and spirit . . . is so reminiscent of the College’s mission.”
Upon ascending the stage herself, Chouinard-Luth remarked blissfully on the status of the Jo’s completion, commenting that she hopes the facility will be a place for community-building and conversation, beyond serving as the preeminent center for student fitness on campus. Enticing the audience with her ardent spirit and witty speech, Chouinard-Luth even posed the question, “How and why does a man whose entire first and last names consist of two four letter words end up with a bride of eight years of marriage with a building named with a total letter count of forty-six?”
Once concluding her speech, Father Tim O’Brien ‘06, member of the Society of Jesus and Director of Mission Initiatives, led the official blessing ceremony.