During the opening weekend, Dr. John Bergsma took the initiative of helping the students really start off on the right foot by offering a talk on Christ-Centered Leadership. It was a moving and empowering talk for everyone who attended.
Bergsma took it to the basics – you can’t give what you don’t have. If you want to lead, you must follow Christ. Quite a simple statement, yes, but it is essentially the core of being a true Catholic leader. You must lead by example, and you mustn’t neglect your personal interior life. Bergsma encouraged everyone in attendance to have fellowship with Jesus – a relationship that gives life to your very being. He encouraged all of us to consider doing a holy hour every week to simply adore our Eucharistic Lord and allow Him to fill us. He proceeded to help us make this a reality by suggesting that we prayerfully make a plan that is suitable for us, to get rid of the distractions and then actually fulfill that plan. He really implored us to not just cast this aside, and say, “Oh, that’s nice…” but to take action today by starting to make the changes necessary.
It was a really awesome talk that encouraged myself and all the other Franciscan students to really focus on becoming the best we are able to be so we can in turn help others. “Set the example, and they will follow.”
Bergsma closed powerfully by handing it off to St. Josemaría Escrivá, personally one of my favorite saints that I turn to, and I must also share it:
Will-power. A very important quality. Don’t despise little things, for by the continual practice of denying yourself again and again in such things—which are never futile or trivial—with God’s grace you will add strength and resilience to your character. In that way you will first become master of yourself, and then a guide, a chief, a leader: to compel and to urge and to inspire others, with your words, with your example, with your knowledge and with your power.