Scene: Sunday, April 17, 2012. Beautiful sunny day in Chestnut Hill, MA. Home of Boston College. (BC Alums, did I get your colors, right?)
This was a Father and Son day trip where we were joined by 1000+ other incoming freshman and their expectant parents – some like Eric, who were trying to decide if BC was going to be their home for the next four years.
Father Jeremy Clark (b. Australia; Chinese History specialist; Rugby enthusiast) kicked off his remarks by sharing some background on the Jesuits and their foundation which I recap like this: Pursuit of education and knowledge. Integration of education with Religion and one’s pursuit of their highest personal calling. Embracing character, community and service. And, AND, their belief that “God is in All Things.” More on this later.
Roll past a 45-minute briefing session in Biology and another 45 minutes in Chemistry (and I’m ready for therapy – Can I be the most clueless parent in the room? Why are most of the parents taking notes? Should I be taking notes? On What? Maybe I’ll doodle. Ahh, I forgot my pen. And I have no paper. Isn’t the time up yet? Why can’t I get an iPhone signal in here to check my emails? Isn’t it hot in here? I glance over at Eric. He’s intently focused on the Professor. At least someone has it together. Could he be adopted? Or Worse?). We moved on to the last of the formal classroom sessions which was hosted by four BC seniors sharing their thoughts on the BC experience. It was standing room only. No air in this room. Or, perhaps I’m still hyperventilating from the last Chem session. (What is wrong with me?) During the end of the Q&A, a parent asks how invasive the religious requirements are at Boston College. You could only hear crickets. The Believers, shifting (squirming) uncomfortably in their chairs. Gritting their teeth I’m sure. The non-Catholic/non-Jesuit/”Other” parents and students sitting up at attention waiting for the response. And me, I’m standing up against the wall…behind my son who sitting in front of me…I plant my feet…lean up against the wall…I squeeze his shoulders…I feel woozy. (Get a grip man!)
Self: How was your trip?
DK: One more school to visit and then Eric makes the big decision.
Self: Why are you so anxious?
DK: Not about the decision.
Self: Then what?
DK: Daughter is a sophomore at an Augustinian Catholic university. Son is now contemplating attending a Catholic Jesuit University.
Self: You Catholic? You Jesuit?
Self: You uptight about your children attending a Catholic, Jesuit University?
DK: Absolutely not. And, when Father Clark talked about the foundational principles for Jesuits, I felt surprisingly at peace. If my kids aren’t getting “it” or haven’t gotten “it” from me, they would certainly get “it” at a school like BC. Pursuit of Excellence in Education. Community. Service. Character. All integrated with Religion. Rock solid.
Self: That’s not it though, is it?
Self: So…HE is responsible for a Divine Intervention. HE’S “working you” through your blood. Your kids. And, given your fence-sitting on the subject, it’s no wonder. You are a “believer” when it’s convenient. Sort of like the health care debate. Only matters when it impacts you or your family, right?
DK: Doing a lot of preaching this morning, aren’t we? Let’s change the subject. It’s a beautiful day.
Self: Let’s not avoid it yet again. MWMC* – Are you done reading “Immortality” yet? RockyOnTheRoad is waiting for an update.
DK: I couldn’t turn another page. I tossed it. Shawn is going to have to wait. And it’s likely going to be a long wait.
DK: Yep. And don’t invite your friends (especially BR into this debate). I’m going for a run. This is too deep (and dark) for a Monday morning.
Self: Just remember…God Is In All Things!
DK: Got it.
*MWMC=Man With Mortality Complex. See Prior post: I Want to Live.