Today was bitter sweet for me at Mt. Irenaeus. It is the Feast of Pentecost and I got to read the first reading for the Mass. It’s always an honor to be asked to do that and since the celebrant, Fr. Bob Strusynski, OFM was celebrating his last Mass at the Mountain it was deeply significant. I’ve grown to love Fr. Bob in the past almost dozen years since we first met at Mt. Irenaeus. He’s quiet, thoughtful and scholarly. He’s has a Ph.D. in theology and his homilies always reflect that scholarship. Soon he will be retiring to Butler, New Jersey. I’ll miss him very much. Today’s homily was typically about love. That’s often the topic of Fr. Bob’s talks. In the last couple of days I’ve finally come to understand at least intellectually what Franciscans mean when they speak of poverty. Poverty is ultimately about love and relationship. Forgiveness is in there too as God is always doing everything to bridge that gap that separates us from his love. Fr. Bob ended his homily with one of my favorite quotes from PierreTeillhard de Chardin,
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Thank you Fr. Bob for helping me to know more about love and specifically God’s love for me. Peace!
The Latin phrase, “Sit finis libri, non finis quaerendi,” comes from the end of Thomas Merton’s, “Seven Storey Mountain.” Merton’s books and thinking have animated much of my adult life. In a couple of weeks I’ll be officially finished with my studies at St. Bonaventure University but it won’t be the end of my journey. The last nearly two years since I decided to enroll at St. Bonaventure University have slipped by quickly and in that time I have met many interesting people and learned a great deal about educational administration.
One of my goals two years ago was to see if Franciscan principles could be applied to the world of education and in my case public education. The good news is that they can and that they might in fact point a new way forward. If not a new way, then a road less traveled. Our social fabric as a nation has been torn asunder by economic change that has seen the near death of an American middle class, the exploitation of the poor and the disenfranchised in our midst. While there are pockets of wealth and abundance in our country there are also pockets of poverty and disillusionment. Teachers, doctors, and other professionals stand in this gap on behalf of those we serve.
As I close the book at St. Bonaventure University I can’t help but think how I can use this Franciscan education and principles to serve the world around me. I am praying for God’s will and direction and I covet your prayers too. This is a link to my recently completed leadership portfolio at St. Bonaventure University.