The January Mass and Brunch
In January each year, the Society gathers to celebrate a Mass followed by a Brunch. The Mass traditionally falls on either the Solemnity of the Epiphany or the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
The Solemnity of the Epiphany commemorates the visit of the three wise men to the Infant Jesus. It recognizes the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ. It is said that this feast of Christ's divinity completes the feast of His humanity.
The Baptism of the Lord Mass is celebrated to commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, an example of the continued manifestation of the Lord, as Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to bring forth children of God. The feast of the Baptism of the Lord allows us to again encounter the truth of the Lord’s incarnation, as it offers to us the institution of the sacrament of baptism. Liturgically, it brings to a conclusion the season of Christmas.
- Prof. John J. DeGioia, Ph.D., President of Georgetown University, who has led the university since 2001 and recently completed a $1.5 billion fund-raising campaign dedicated to enhancing the lifelong value of a Georgetown education, and who serves as Historian for the Society.
- Prof. Aaron Dominguez, Ph.D., Provost of The Catholic University of America, who oversees the academic life of the university's twelve schools as well as its libraries, research institutes and The Catholic University of America Press, and who is a specialist in particle physics and serves on the National Science Board.
- Rev. James R. Van Dyke, S.J., President of Georgetown Preparatory School, who has served as an administrator, instructor, and chaplain in Catholic primary and secondary schools for over twenty-five years.
- Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, President of Villanova University, who implemented an ambitious ten-year plan that has increased the university's fundraising, set admission records and heightened its academic prowess, while renewing its commitment to Catholic education.
- Rev. Matt Malone, S.J., President and Editor-in-Chief of America Media, who is the youngest editor of American Magazine.
- Rev. Kevin F. O’Brien, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown University, who also oversees the largest campus ministry in the country and has written extensively about Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit formation.
- Rev. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., President of Assumption University in Ontario and CEO of the Salt and Light Media Foundation based in Toronto, who was a member of the Holy See Press Office staff and served as one of the official Vatican spokespersons during the historic papal transition that included Benedict XVI’s resignation and election of Pope Francis.
- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, a patristics scholar and professor at the University of St. Thomas and St. Mary’s seminary in Houston, Texas, who is also a former Episcopal bishop, married, and was tapped by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, which was was established to welcome groups of Anglicans seeking to become Catholic as a group while also retaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgical practices.
- Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., President of Marquette University, and former President of the University of Scranton, who is an expert in medieval and Renaissance literature, and has taught courses on a variety of subjects at several Catholic universities.
Through the January Brunch, the Society strives to help brunch participants to connect (or re-connect) with DC-area alumni. The Society especially encourages its new members to attend the January Brunch, where they may meet JCS leadership, learn more about the Society, and participate afterwards in a photograph for new members.
St. Patrick Church, where the annual Baptism of the Lord Mass or Epiphany Mass is traditionally celebrated.
Prof. John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University, presents his talk, “Higher Education in a Post-Pandemic World,” at the 2021 Lecture on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
(To watch the 2021 January Lecture, which was held virtually, please click here. Prof. DeGioia's remarks begin around the 6:50 mark.)
Prof. Aaron Dominguez, Provost of The Catholic University of America, presents his address, “Faith and Science in Our World Today,” at the 2020 Brunch following the Baptism of the Lord Mass.
Fr. James R. Van Dyke, SJ (President of Georgetown Preparatory School) addresses attendees at the Brunch following the Baptism of the Lord Mass with his talk, "The Crying Need for Catholic Imagination."
Villanova University President and 2018 January Brunch speaker Fr. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, addresses attendees at the Brunch following the Epiphany Mass.
(To listen to Fr. Donohue's January Brunch talk, click here.)
JCS President Carol Bates and JCS Chaplain Msgr. Peter Vaghi gather with some of the newest members of the Society at the brunch following the 2018 Epiphany Mass.
JCS President Thomas Loughney and JCS Membership Chair Daniel Hardwick welcome some of the newest members to the Society at the brunch following the 2017 Epiphany Mass.
Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi, JCS Chaplain,
delivers his homily at the Baptism of the Lord Mass.