Mon

16

Dec

2013

Torch Columnists Swap Zucchettos with Pope Francis

Katie Rich and Ethan Mack
Katie Rich and Ethan Mack

by Chris Canniff

Chris is Editor-in-Chief and a Senior Staff Columnist.

 

On Wednesday, December 11, two of The Torch’s senior staff columnists who have been studying abroad in Rome this semester had an amazing encounter with Pope Francis.

 

Each Wednesday, the Holy Father holds a general audience in St. Peter’s Square. The night before, Ethan Mack and Katie Rich, both A&S ’15, went to a clerical clothing store and purchased a white zucchetto in Francis’ size to give to him. On Wednesday morning, they arrived in St. Peter’s Square early so that they could position themselves right up along the barricades, near where the popemobile would drive by. Inside the zucchetto, they had placed a note which read, “Boston College loves our Jesuit pope!”

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

by Chris Canniff

 

The season of Advent is ever increasingly overlooked, as the mad dash to the mall replaces this time meant for prayerful and joyful expectance of Christ’s coming. We should all perhaps try to extract ourselves from this frenzied culture and reflect upon what it means that God assumed human flesh. The marvelous festival of incarnation that is Christmas demands our attentive preparation, for the glory of this act of divine love is so beyond our comprehension that our liturgical calendar exhorts us to spend these four weeks in prayer over this great mystery.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Protestant Perspective: Hope

by Mark Hertenstein

 

Advent is the season of hope. Although Advent is a season in the Church year, it is the beginning and end of the Church year all in one. While it is the time in which we look back with the ancients for the coming of the Messiah, it is, as importantly, a time to look forward to the second coming of Christ, to the Kingdom, to eternity. The hope of Christ’s coming that was realized almost two millennia ago grounds our hope for the future. And because it pervades the year, we can speak of any event of the Church year in relation to Advent and the hope that it represents.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Serenity Prayer

by Natalie Yuhas

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means it’s beginning to look a lot like finals season. The weeks leading up to Christmas break are some of the most stressful weeks of a college student’s career. I know my last couple of weeks have been some of the worst and most stressful ones yet and that the coming weeks of finals are going to be extremely demanding. When I am under a lot of stress and feel like life is overwhelmingly chaotic, I turn towards the serenity prayer. I first learned about this prayer on a retreat I went on during the summer before my junior year of high school, and I’ve been using it ever since.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Viaggio a Roma: Why are you a Catholic?

by Katie Rich

 

Walking through the muddy barracks of Auschwitz, seeing the vile latrines and the ruins of the gas chambers used to murder a million innocent people, the existence of evil was tangible, its fossils decaying right before my eyes. The ashes from the ground seemed to whisper, why are you a Catholic?

 

Every day, our phones and televisions and computer screens awaken our minds to the wretched reality of the world. A massive typhoon kills thousands in a country that has a hard enough time standing on its own two feet. Another shooting has happened in another shopping mall or elementary school, while cheeks are still damp with tears from the last horrific outburst. Planes crash, ships sink, people die. Chaos spits angrily in our faces, why are you a Catholic?

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Guidepost: Through Childlike Eyes

by Nikki Elliott

 

Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

- Luke 5:26 (NIV)

 

You do not see too many children on campus, so I always love it when I spot little munchkins running around. Last week I saw a young boy who was excitedly charging full-speed toward the brightly lit Christmas tree on the O’Neill lawn. The boy was captivated by the tree—he gazed up with twinkles in both eyes and “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” at the sparkling lights. I heard him ask his Dad, “Where did they find a tree that big? How did they get it here? Dad, how did they get the lights all the way to the top branches?” I could not help but smile at his awe and curiosity. There was something magical about the whole scene outside Gasson Hall that I had not noticed in the days before. I was probably running off to a group project meeting or too worried about getting to class on time to let myself get caught up in the spectacle; but on this night, I allowed myself to see it through the eyes of that little boy, and it was wonderful.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Gentle Woman: Some Reflections on Our Mother Mary

by Ethan Mack

 

Every now and again when I'm walking the cobblestone streets of Rome, I'll run into the image of a beautiful woman. Sometimes she is holding a child, but other times she is just standing there, with a countenance that radiates tranquility and peace. Often, angels and saints are shown to be at her behest, as they praise her and give thanks for her marvelous creation. The miraculous thing is that this amazing woman does not only exist on the street corners of Rome. She exists truly, as our loving mother and great friend.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Christmas Tree Lights Up O’Neill Plaza

Photo by Daniel Lee
Photo by Daniel Lee

by Natalie Yuhas

 

Despite the stress from the coming weeks of final exams and papers, Boston College took a break from this busy academic time to celebrate the Christmas season. The annual Boston College Christmas tree lighting took place last Wednesday at 5pm. The BC community came together as many students, faculty, and families gathered on O’Neill Plaza. Hannah Luke, A&S ’16, commented that, “It’s always nice to see the Boston College community come together like it did at the tree lighting. It’s what makes this such a great university to be apart of.” The tree lighting marks the beginning of the holiday celebrations on campus. University President Rev. William Leahy, SJ officiated at the event.

 

Typically, the lighting takes place near St. Mary’s Hall, and the tree used as the Christmas tree is the large tree in the rose garden adjacent to St. Mary’s. This year, however, because of the construction on St. Mary’s Hall, the large tree is not lit for Christmas. Instead, a smaller tree was brought in and is temporarily staked in O’Neill Plaza as the decorated Christmas tree. Some students said they prefer this arrangement because they think that it is more accessible and central to campus. Emma Vitale, A&S ’16, said that, “Although it’s smaller, it’s in a place I pass by everyday on my way to class.”

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

“Christmas on the Heights” Sells Out Three Shows

by Alessandra Luedeking

 

On December 6, 7, and 8, the University Chorale of Boston College and Boston College Symphony Orchestra performed their “Christmas on the Heights” concert at Trinity Chapel on the Newton Campus to a sold out crowd. Their opening night saw an eager and spritely audience. The chapel was full to capacity within seconds of the doors opening. It was a chance for students burdened by the stress of impending final exams to relax and enjoy an evening of music and good cheer.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College: Finding God in All Things

by Margo Borders

 

The Alumni Association of Boston College hosted a tour of the stained glass windows of Bapst Library, called “The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College: Finding God in All Things” on Sunday, Dec. 8. Patricia DeLeeuw, Vice Provost for Faculties and a scholar of medieval history, gave the tour, which took place in Bapst Library’s Gargan Hall and the Irish Room in Gasson Hall.

 

DeLeeuw focused first on Bapst Library in the context of the history of Boston College.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Campus Music Minister Shares Christmas Spirit in Music and Reflection

by Margaret Antonio

 

This month’s Agape Latte event, sponsored by BC’s Church in the 21st Century Center and Campus Ministry, featured Campus Minister for Liturgical Arts, Meyer Chambers. Flyers posted throughout campus advertised “Agape Latte with a Merry Meyer Chambers.” For sure, Chambers brought his “merry” Christmas spirit, along with a piano and representatives of the Liturgical Arts Group (LAG), to the audience gathered at Hillside Café. However, he also brought inspiring and insightful reflections on his own life experiences.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Pope Francis Publishes Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization

by Jay Chin

 

Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (Latin for The Joy of the Gospel) explicates the priorities of his papacy, his opinions regarding the world we live in, and the shortcomings within the Church. As such, the Exhortation has become the subject of much conversation and debate, inciting discussions on topics ranging from the ordination of women to the dangers of a so-called Promethean Neopelagianism and even the issues created by certain economic systems, particularly unbridled capitalism.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Pro-Abortion Protests in Buenos Aires Turn Violent; Attempt to Vandalize Cathedral

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

Violent outbreaks and inflammatory statements marked this year’s Gathering of Women on November 24 in Argentina. According to InfoCatolica and LifeSiteNews.com, the conflict started earlier in the day, while the different workshops of the meeting were still in session. Eye-witness accounts report that in workshops related to the topic of abortion, several fundamentalist groups of pro-abortion feminists blocked access to anyone that did not espouse their views. There were several reports of physical violence reported by opponents of abortion who sought to engage in discussion regarding the topic.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Brighton Church Vandalized

by Ethan Mack

 

Last month, Our Lady of the Presentation Church on Washington Street in Brighton was vandalized according to Boston Police. Some time between the afternoon of November 23 and the morning of November 25, vandals broke into the church and defaced many of the religious objects within.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Saint of the Issue: Nicholas of Myra

by Sofia Infante

 

Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop known for his secret gift giving. Due to the number of miracles granted through his intercession, he became known to some as Nicholas the Wonderworker. The modern-day Santa Claus is modeled after him and is named after the Dutch Sint-Niklaas, which was shortened to Sinterklass and Anglicized to Santa Clause.

 

Nicholas was born on March 15, 270 in Asia Minor in the city of Parara and grew up in Myra, a city in Lycia, at the time when the area was heavily influenced by Greek heritage. He came from a wealthy Christian family and is said to have been very religious from an early age. When his parents died during an epidemic, Nicholas was taken in and raised by his uncle, the Bishop of Parara, who later ordained him as a priest.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Catholicism 101: Incarnation

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

St. Athanasius famously said, regarding the Incarnation, that, “God became man, so that man might become god.” A few years of continuous contemplation of this very deep thought from one of the greatest Fathers of the Church would not even begin to peel the first layer off the great Mystery that is the Incarnation of our Lord. This teaching, that God became man, indistinguishable from any regular person, was very confusing to the people to whom the Apostles were preaching. In fact, it is only out of use that we do not realize the radical strangeness of it all. In Greek mythology, there are plenty of gods who come down in human form, but none of them undergo the kenosis, by which they would come not in glory, but in the lowly form of a servant.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Chrysostom on the Birth of Christ

by Margaret Schatkin

 

Margaret Schatkin is an associate professor of theology, having joined the faculty in 1969. A member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, she specializes in patristics, with a special emphasis on the theology of John Chrysostom.

 

“Dies igitur vera natalis [Christi] ignoratur.” So wrote Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609) in Book VI of his Opus de emendatione temporum, referring to the indeterminacy in antiquity of the actual day of Christ’s birth. Indeed, most liturgical scholars today do not consider December 25th to be the actual day of His birth. St. John Chrysostom, however, asserts that the date of December 25th is historically accurate, citing records of the census taken at His birth and stored in the archives of Rome. These interesting remarks appear in his Christmas sermon, (PG 49, 351-62) Let’s take a closer look at the nature and validity of Chrysostom’s claim.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

A Plea for the Campus School

by Ronald K. Tacelli, SJ

 

Rev. Ronald K. Tacelli, S.J. is an associate professor in the Philosophy Department. He is a graduate of the Boston College Class of 1969, and he joined the faculty in 1984. Fr. Tacelli specializes in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.

 

A friend of mine, on his first visit to Boston College, said that the place resembled a kind of academic “eugenics camp”—filled with healthy, eager, gifted, energetic, well-scrubbed, “beautiful” people. And my friend had a point; there is a lot of obvious beauty, health, and energy on display here. But when I think about what’s most “beautiful” at BC, my mind goes immediately to the work that’s been done—for many years, day in, day out, without much fanfare—at the Campus School. There, in the midst of so much wealth, privilege, material goods, and trendy chic—that is to say, in our very midst— you’ll find severely handicapped and impaired young people who haven’t been blessed as we’ve been blessed. One of these people is my cousin Christopher.

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