Regardless of whether they are Catholic, Pope Francis is someone who absolutely amazes Americans. He is puzzling, he is baffling. So when he came to America almost a year and a half ago for the first time as pope, twenty-four-hour news stations followed his every move.
Here at Franciscan University, we have a unique system called “Households.” Commonly explained as a “Catholic fraternity,” these small groups of men or women are united by more than just a banner, color, or t-shirt. Households are families.
I joined The Troubadour as a freshman during my first week at Franciscan University. I came in as a mass communications major with a concentration in journalism and had high hopes to become a mainstream newspaper journalist. It made sense to join the school paper. I had been a part of my school paper in high school and wrote a few articles so had some experience that would help me be successful, but my editors gave me the tools I needed to do well. Within my first year at Franciscan, I wrote over 40 articles on topics ranging from expansions on campus, student government, the March for Life, and more.
Because of the very broad core program at Franciscan, Franciscan students have the opportunity to take classes with a wide variety of professors from different departments. Within my first semester, I knew there was something very special about this group of people who have dedicated themselves to the education of their younger brothers and sisters in Christ. So what is it that makes them the best?
I didn’t have the pleasure of ever meeting Father Mike. He left Franciscan before I was a student, but he still had such a significant impact on my life that losing him felt like losing a close, personal friend. His name was present from the moment I stepped foot on campus. I can’t remember the first time I heard his name. It was probably on my tour as a prospective student as we walked past his portrait in the J.C. Williams Center.
Even though I grew up in Steubenville and visited Franciscan frequently, I don’t have any vivid memories of Father Michael Scanlan. But he was always there, usually as one of the many priests at the altar during mass at Christ the King or in the Field House for Household Life.
Thinking on the little way recently, because of St. Therese’s feast day Oct 1st! St. Therese is so great- I think she’s a saint that is so reachable and relatable.
I’ll admit it, I never really took the Lenten season all that seriously before being submerged in such a dynamically Catholic environment here at Franciscan. I vow to make this Lent meaningful, to walk step by step with Christ, to follow through with dedication as He did on the Cross for the sake of my littleness. He’s inviting me to the desert with the warmest of welcomes.
Life as a Franciscan student is nothing less of an adventure. Especially with the excitement of beginning anew as a Freshman, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of it all. It is in these places on campus that I have practiced the art of abiding and resting.
Throughout this semester, I have done a lot of reflecting on what I have to offer my clients as a counselor. Before this semester, I did not think that I had a lot to offer my clients in terms of life experience and a story. After all, as a cradle Catholic graduate student who comes from a white upper-middle class family how can I relate to people who are new in the faith or who come from different socioeconomic, educational, and cultural backgrounds?