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Sacred Time

The University of Saint Francis “encourage[s] a trustful, prayerful community of learners”[1] who “[integrate] faith with life.”[2] As a Catholic, Franciscan university, this necessitates providing “opportunities to practice the faith through participation in Mass, the sacraments, [and] religious devotions.”[3] In recognizing “the Eucharist as the most perfect act of community worship,”[4] the university provides Sacred Time to ensure that both student and employee participation is practically feasible, given scheduling limitations and available resources.[5]

Sacred Time occurs between 11:30 am and noon on weekdays and between 8:30 and 9:30 pm on Sundays, when Mass is celebrated in the St. Francis Chapel at the Main Campus. During Sacred Time, regardless of participation, no on-campus university-sponsored activities are scheduled for or by students or employees. This includes but is not limited to classes, labs, meetings with academic advisors or other personnel, co-curricular activities (including athletic practices), and student leadership responsibilities. Although University offices do not close during Sacred Time, departments should refrain from scheduling meetings and events during this period of time. Students and employees who choose not to participate in Mass are encouraged to use Sacred Time for personal spiritual practices, in keeping with their respective traditions.

[1] Franciscan Value no. 2 of the University of Saint Francis: http://www.sf.edu/about-usf/mission/
[2] St. John Paul II, Ex corde Ecclesiae: On Catholic Universities (Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1990), sec. 38.
[3] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for the United States (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2000), art. 4, sec. 5.a. Also see: art. 6, sec. 2.
[4] St. John Paul II, Ex corde Ecclesiae, sec. 39.
[5] e.g., The University of Saint Francis employs one priest who celebrates one Mass daily and one Mass on Sundays during the fall and spring semesters.

 

Policy effective July 1, 2021

Sacred Time
The University of Saint Francis “encourage[s] a trustful, prayerful community of learners”[1]
who “[integrate] faith with life.”[2] As a Catholic, Franciscan university, this necessitates
providing “opportunities to practice the faith through participation in Mass, the sacraments,
[and] religious devotions.”[3] In recognizing “the Eucharist as the most perfect act of
community worship,”[4] the university provides Sacred Time to ensure that both student and
employee participation is practically feasible, given scheduling limitations and available
resources.[5]
Sacred Time is observed between 11:00 am and 11:30 am on weekdays[6] and between 7:30
pm and 8:30 pm on Sundays, when Mass is celebrated in the St. Francis Chapel at the Main
Campus. During Sacred Time, on-campus university-sponsored activities – such as classes,
labs, meetings with academic advisors or other personnel, co-curricular activities (including
athletic practices), and student leadership responsibilities — are not scheduled for or by
students or employees so that all have the opportunity to participate in Sacred Time.
Exceptions for certain classes may be approved by the VPAA. Although University offices do
not close during Sacred Time, departments should not schedule meetings and events during
this period of time. Students and employees who choose not to participate in Mass are
encouraged to use Sacred Time for individual or communal spiritual, restorative practices. All
employees communicate with their supervisors about Sacred Time participation.

[1] Franciscan Value no. 2 of the University of Saint Francis: http://www.sf.edu/aboutusf/mission/
[2] St. John Paul II, Ex corde Ecclesiae: On Catholic Universities (Vatican City: Typis
Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1990), sec. 38.
[3] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for
the United States (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2000), art. 4, sec. 5.a. Also see art. 6, sec. 2.
[4] St. John Paul II, Ex corde Ecclesiae, sec. 39.
[5] e.g., The University of Saint Francis secures available priests to celebrate Mass on
weekdays and on Sundays during the fall and spring semesters.
1 This policy appears in the USF Employee Handbook under “Time Away from Work”:
https://usfmail.sharepoint.com/Pages/Policy/Human-Resources/Employee-Handbook.aspx#S4.1Sacred Time Policy 2021 [Type here] 2
[6] As of July 1, 2021, Sacred Time will be observed between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. on
weekdays.
Notes:
(1) The Sacred Time policy was approved by President’s Cabinet on 05/31/2016 and took
effect on Sunday, August 28, 2016.
(2) The Sacred Time policy was revised on January 27, 2020 by the Mission Advisory Council,
approved by President’s Cabinet on April 21, 2020, and confirmed by the Mission Advisory
Council on April 23, 2020. It takes effect July 1, 2021.