Magis & Jesuit Identity
I had the honor and privilege this past weekend of representing SJU at the Alpha Sigma Nu Centennial Triennial Conference at Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alpha Sigma Nu is the international Jesuit honor society, with a chapter at every Jesuit university in the United States, as well as in Canada, Korea, and now Spain. Membership in Alpha Sigma Nu is based around three tenets: scholarship, service, and loyalty to Jesuit values.
As Chapter President for Saint Joe’s, I and two other members of our executive board of the SJU chapter were able to attend the conference this weekend.
I never want to stop going to school.
Life-long learning, to some, might sound torturous. But school is about being more than just a student. (I am not going to use the word “magis.” Sorry.) Learning is about opening your mind to new experiences, and about developing the ability to evaluate every second of every day in terms of what you can do to make the world a better place. Maybe even a safer place.
Safety has definitely been on my mind the past few days. I know I’m not alone.
It’s been a little over a week since Pope Francis visited Philadelphia, and I still can’t stop replaying scenes from those two days over and over again in my mind.
I was in the vicinity of Pope Francis’s incredibly moving speech at Independence Hall. I teared up when he closed with an Our Father in English, and nearly again when he waved and drove by where I was camped out in Franklin Square, to watch the speech on a Jumbotron.
I was there when he drove up and down the Ben Franklin Parkway just after twilight’s waning,
Recently there have been many articles, blogs and news reports about the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia. The World Meetings of Families went off without a hitch and was one of the most successful events in the history of Philadelphia. The personal effect the Pontiff had on each person within the city of Philadelphia was extraordinary. But, what about the impact the Pope had on a local university? The minute it was announced that Pope Francis would be attending The World Meetings of Families in Philadelphia and staying at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, SJU was buzzing. Would Pope Francis visit Saint Joseph’s University?
In case you just woke up from some deep slumber or have been living in a jungle and just returned to civilized society, I feel like it is my duty and obligation as a human being to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis graced us with his presence this past weekend. Many members of the Saint Joseph’s University community had the chance to see him in person either when he drove down City Ave., at the events happening downtown, or when he stopped by campus. I am lucky to be able to say that I was one of the people who had the opportunity of seeing him this weekend!
“Wait, the pope is coming?”
This was my friend’s favorite response to whenever the topic of the Papal Visit was brought up these past few weeks. Yes, we know, the pope is coming.
Professors, the news, my family – everyone was talking about this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity.
Fortunately, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in some papal events this past weekend.
On Friday, two of my three classes were canceled so I was able to prepare myself and begin planning my papal experience. My mother even drove down from Rochester, NY to come visit and to see the pope!
Although I am not Catholic, I fully understand and appreciate what it means to have a Jesuit education. I also recognize that Saint Joe’s has given me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t find at many other universities. From access to certain resources to attending a national conference for free, SJU has provided life changing experiences that are not available anywhere else.
Today I was among hundreds of Saint Joe’s students that gathered around the chapel waiting for Pope Francis to bless our new statue. As I said,
Today hundreds of Saint Joseph’s University students lined City Avenue to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis arriving at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary around noon and then again when he departed for the Center City around 4:00. During both passes student’s enthusiasm was contagious. Cheers, including a rendition of “When the hawks go flying in,” could be heard throughout the crowd.
I couldn’t help but smile being a part of such a historic event for the city of Philadelphia and for our school. Every person I passed was grinning and excited to just see Pope Francis for a second.
I am officially starting my senior year of college here at SJU. I have had an unbelievable time on this campus; this has been some of the best years of my life. As I reflect back on my years here at SJU, I am hit with the realization that an end is nearing; a culmination of 4 years of learning will soon end with graduation. As a freshman we all look forward to that day, but now as a senior the finality of graduation makes me a little melancholy. I remember my first days of touring the SJU campus. As I looked around,
It’s Saturday night and I’m currently in my dorm room, listening to the new Beach House album, doing my homework for Tuesday (does that make me lame?) [nerds are hip, right?].
Recently, in my Civic Media class in the Communications department, we had discussed social capital and whether it had been declining or not and also digital media’s role in this decline or incline. Then, when I went to do my Sociology of Migration homework that same night, I started reading the assigned book, which had started to discuss social capital and its relationship to Migration-Trust Networks.