Showing posts from February, 2014

A New Adventure Begins...

It is with great joy, and tremendous relief, that I can share that I've been accepted to Boston College's doctoral program in systematic theology. I interviewed almost two weeks ago and heard yesterday afternoon. Throughout my years of Jesuit formation, it has become increasingly clear to me that I have both a desire and passion for higher studies in theology and I'm so enormously grateful that I will have the opportunity to begin these studies.

I'll spare you the details of exactly what I hope to study: in addition to being boring to most people, it changes within me each day!

I will share, however, why I love studying theology.

I love the study of theology because it was through the guidance of a theologian that I learned to pray. Years ago, when I was in college, I bought a copy of Karl Rahner's The Need and Blessing of Prayer. As I recall, I was a senior in college and my roommate was working overnight shifts at a local FedEx. One evening, after I'd finish…

....but what will the neighbors say?

In the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death last week, there has been no shortage of stories addressing the alarming rise in the use of heroin, especially among teenagers. CNN provides a "snapshot" of the epidemic in a story focusing on heroin use among teens in Long Island. 

Tellingly the author writes, "Parents are caught between denial and shame over the
stigma of having a heroin-addicted child."

This makes sense: what community isn't proud when the local kid succeeds by getting to play a professional sport, getting into medical school, or achieving success in some field? It's easier to say to friends, "My son the lawyer" or "My daughter the professor" than it is to say "My son who struggles with addiction."

This may arise from a "But what will the neighbors say?" mentality. I've seen it with families where a child is gay or lesbian; where a child struggles with alcohol or drugs; where kids struggle with…

Mass Appeal

I have been, since October, facilitating the RCIA at Saint Cecilia Parish in Boston. Each week we begin our class with ten minutes of silent prayer with Scripture followed by a presentation and discussion. For me, at least, the ninety minutes fly by.

Recently, it occurred to me that there were certain things not contained in traditional lesson plans that really do need to be shared. Thus, I have assembled a few bits of practical wisdom and submit them to the masses for consideration:
Upon Arrival When you get to church, it is customary to bless yourself using Holy Water.  You see those little "finger bowls" attached to the doorway? Yep, just dip a finger or two in there and make the sign of the cross. The action is meant to remind you of your baptism, not to rinse your fingers free of the sugar from the glazed donut you ate in the parking lot. Move to the center of the pew. Unlike airplanes, there's hardly any benefit from sitting on the aisle. Move toward the center so t…