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Second annual Fr. Naus Day of Kindness celebrates legacy

Kathleen Baert, Assistant News Editor

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The Tuesday night 10 p.m. Joan of Arc Mass. Photo by Matt Serafin /matthew.serafin@marquette.edu

Students and alumni gathered for a special celebration of Tuesday night Mass in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel on Tuesday evening to honor the second anniversary of the Rev. John Naus’ death.

Naus died Sept. 22, 2013, at the age of 89. He was a priest at Marquette for almost 50 years. During this time, he was also the resident chaplain in Schroeder Hall for 28 years and the main presider of the 10 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Masses.

Sarah Behrens, a 2015 graduate of the College of Engineering, and Julia O’Hara, a senior in the College of Engineering, planned this commemorative Mass over the summer.

“He just wanted to bring joy to everyone around him and just share the love that he experienced from God with everyone on campus,” Behrens said.

The Rev. Nicholas Santos and the Rev. Kent Beausoleil presided over the Mass, which included an after-communion reflection of Naus’ favorite song, “Live, Jesus, Live.” Behrens said Naus carried around yellow pieces of paper with the words written on it and distributed them to people he met.

Santos said Naus celebrated Tuesday night Mass for 25 to 30 years. Students have told him Naus presided when their parents attended Marquette. Santos co-presided alongside him for four years after Naus suffered a stroke in 2004.

During Santos’ homily, he shared one of Naus’ favorite sayings: “To see the world through God’s eyes, see the words ‘make me feel important’ written across everyone’s forehead.”

Santos also shared some stories of how Naus was so unique on campus. He said Naus was famous for his persona of Tumbleweed the Clown. He would dress up as a clown, play guitar and make balloon animals.

Last year, Marquette Student Government passed a legislation to make the first Tuesday after Sept. 22 the annual Fr. Naus Day of Kindness. On this day, MUSG suggests students doing random acts of kindness, including mailing handwritten cards or buying someone a coffee.

Students and alumni used the hashtag #FatherNausTaughtMe to share their favorite memories and stories of Naus on social media.

“He was a friend to so many students, and his legacy lives on here at the university,” Beausoleil said.

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