I feel like things have truly settled down here on campus. Everyone is well into their classes and quickly approaching midterms. Flag football teams are eye-ing the playoffs, at least when they can see through their mud spattered faces. The freshmen continue to find their place on campus and are gradually coming out of their shells. In a word: family. The identity of this year’s Franciscan family has really begun to define itself. At the start of the semester, there were over six hundred new faces to recognize and more importantly to come to know and love. This is the time that I truly love my university. I love to walk down the hall and see a household brother sitting in a room talking with one of the freshmen on wing. I love to walk into rosary on Monday nights and see the common room filled with men from the dorm. The Franciscan community, quite simply, is Franciscan. It is not the campus or the teachers but the people. Just as we are the Church, we too are Franciscan.
While it is great to bring new members into our family, it is also important to maintain those relationships that have seen you through the past few years. One of the traditions some friends and I have begun is Thursday night dinner. Every week, one of us cooks dinner for everybody else. Not only does this give me the opportunity to showcase the superiority of southern food above all others, but it also ensures that I get a good home-style meal every week. These are admittedly selfish motivations. The greatest time about these dinners, however, is just being with friends. We tell stories about times gone by and where the Lord might be leading us in the future. We come from different backgrounds and different places. There was even a Georgia girl at our last dinner, but we are all united in our belonging to the Franciscan family. That’s a bond that I truly believe will last a lifetime.