Mon

08

Dec

2014

Extreme Makeover, Advent Edition

by Katie Rich

           

Each morning since Advent started, I’ve woken up to an email reflection from Fr. Robert Barron (see wordonfire.org).  I signed up for these emails last Lent, and found his daily reflections to be a useful guidance for the penitential season.  However, maybe in part because I hadn’t done my research, and in part because I let the warm and fuzzy commercialism of Christmas have too much of a pull on my heart, I was not expecting to read the words I woke up to on the morning of December 5.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

It’s Good To Be Home

by Chris Canniff

 

In December of 1953, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to a young Jesuit named Robert Murray, SJ, who had read an advance copy of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which was due out shortly thereafter.  In response to Murray’s comments on the book, Tolkien said, “I think I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded.”  Here at Boston College, beauty is found—both in majesty and simplicity—in our chapel that is dedicated to Our Lady.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

WC Director Katie Dalton Discusses Children, Faith and Failure at Agape Latte

by Annalise Deal

 

Katie Dalton, Director of the Boston College Women’s Center, spoke at Agape Latte in Hillside last week about raising her children, faith, and failure. Various student musicians also performed before and after Dalton’s talk for the Christmas-themed event. Dalton was supposed to speak alongside Carroll School of Management Assistant Dean Ethan Sullivan, but Sullivan had to cancel last minute due to a sick child.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Recovering a Theological Sense of Storytelling

by Yin Yuan

 

Yin Yuan is a doctoral student in the English department, studying nineteenth-century British literature, with particular focus in the intersecting areas of religion, aesthetics, and politics. Her other research interests include deconstruction, postmodern theology, and all things John Milton. Yin holds double B.A.s in English and Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley.

 

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

What Will You Be Celebrating This Christmas?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

In Book II of the Republic, Plato lays the foundations of what will become the lengthiest and most important part of the dialogue, i.e. seeing justice in the city as a macrocosm for the individual person. The first issue he chooses to take up in this regard, however, is how the gods are represented in Greek mythology. After everyone agreeing that a god would be perfect, Socrates asks whether, in order to take human form, a god would have to give up a greater thing (his or her own superior form) for a lesser thing. Thus, he concludes, the gods would never do such a thing.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

An Encounter of Faith

by Margo Borders

 


For one final time last weekend, I found myself jetsetting off on a whirlwind trip to spend Thanksgiving in Istanbul, Turkey. As the culmination of my semester, I headed to one more completely unfamiliar place to immerse myself in yet another culture. Little did I know how much it would overwhelm my senses, challenge my faith, and help me to grow.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

BC Alumni, Priests Pass Away

by Michael O’Connell

 

Bishop Joseph Maguire ‘41 and Father T.J. Martinez SJ ’92, both graduates of Boston College, recently passed away. Bishop Maguire of the Diocese of Springfield, MA passed away in his residence on November 23 at the age of 95. Father Martinez passed away in his home state of Texas on November 28 at the age of 44 following an eight month long battle with stomach cancer.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Boston College Theologians Sign Statement on Racial Justice

by Chris Canniff

 

Catholic theologians in the United States have drafted a document on racial injustice, stating their commitment to stand by the disaffected.  Several Boston College theologians have signed the document in solidarity.  All of this comes following the recent demonstrations that have occurred nationwide in the wake of the two separate grand jury rulings that determined not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed African Americans during confrontations.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Cornerstone: Advent

by Jay Chin


Four Sundays before December 25, the Church restarts its liturgical year with the season of Advent, when the faithful await the arrival of Immanuel, God with us, the Lord Jesus Christ. The priestly vestments change from green to purple, Christmas-related songs are sung, canned food and warm clothes are collected for the poor. All these things are meant to remind us of this season of joy and fraternity.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Saint of the Issue: Lucy

by Katie Daniels

 

During December in Boston, four o’clock in the afternoon often looks more like ten o’clock at night. Darkness falls earlier and earlier as we move closer to the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. In the old Julian calendar, the Winter Solstice fell on December 13. It made sense to the early Christians then, to celebrate the feast day of a saint whose name derives from lux, or “light,” on December 13, a day when we need light more than ever.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Camp Kesem Chestnut Hill Gives Children of Cancer Patients the Chance to be Kids

by Natalie Yuhas

 

The word “kesem” means “magic” in Hebrew, and that is exactly what Camp Kesem aims to give to children who have parents affected by cancer.

 

There are 1.7 million cases of cancer each year in the United States, which means there are more than 3 million kids who are affected by a parent’s cancer.  These kids often suffer quietly, which can lead to academic, social, emotional, and developmental problems.  Established in 2001 by Iris Rave, a Stanford University student at the time, Camp Kesem is a nationwide, nonprofit community of college leaders who help kids who have a parent with cancer just be kids. Campers, ages six to sixteen, experience a week at sleep away camp, which is full of fun activities such as sports, arts and crafts, and drama. Along with these activities, kids get the opportunity to share their experiences in “Cabin Chats” with their counselors and fellow campers.  Camp Kesem does not provide therapy for kids, but instead focuses on having fun and supporting them. Because of the financial burden on families with a cancer patient, Camp Kesem is completely free for campers.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

A Jesuit at Oxford

by. T. Frank Kennedy, SJ

 

A graduate of the Boston College Class of 1971, T. Frank Kennedy, SJ is a professor in the music department.  For several years, he served as the rector of the Boston College Jesuit Community.  He is currently on sabbatical at Campion Hall, Oxford in the U.K.

 

For something a little different this month, the editors of The Torch asked me to write about my experience as a Jesuit from Boston College who is also part of the Jesuit apostolic work at Campion Hall, Oxford University in Great Britain during the present academic year. In fact I am on sabbatical leave from Boston College enjoying a year of research and writing. Campion Hall is referred to in Oxford as one of the four  PPH’s of the university. PPH stands for permanent private hall. Each of these halls is a smaller operation than any of the thirty-seven Oxford colleges that make up Oxford University, but nevertheless each functions just 

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

#Blessed

by Natalie Yuhas

 

Boston College got rid of the CTRC, and now the lines to print on the third floor of O’Neill are ridiculously long, especially because only three printers are actually working. #blessed  

 

I got the last pick time for classes and everything I really wanted to take was already closed by the time I got to register. #blessed

 

Went to spin class for the first time and I fell off the bike. #blessed

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Cardinal Burke named Patron of the Knights of Malta

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On November 8, the Vatican announced that Cardinal Raymond Burke would be transferred from his post as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura to being the Patron of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta, or the Knights of Malta for short. Cardinal Burke’s position entails providing spiritual guidance to the Prince and Grand Master of the Order, Fra. Matthew Festing and the Knights at large, as well as to serve as the representation of the Holy Father to the Knights. This post, usually given to retired Cardinals past the age of 75, seems unusual for Burke, who is currently only 66.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Pope Francis Calls on Europe’s Leaders to Work for Peace

by Libbie Steiner

 

On Tuesday, November 25, Pope Francis called on European leaders to be instruments of peace for the continent. The Holy Father spoke to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France before addressing the European Parliament later in the day. The Pope remarked that “the royal road to peace – and to avoiding a repetition of what occurred in the two World Wars of the last century – is to see others not as enemies to be opposed but as brothers and sisters to be fully embraced.” With representatives and leaders from nearly every European nation present, Pope Francis urged Europe to work together towards unity and advocate for human dignity as well as denounce violations of freedom, both in the continent and around the world.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Pope Francis Visits Turkey

by Jay Chin

 

Pope Francis visited Turkey for the fourth time from November 28 to 30 on an apostolic trip to meet with civil, Muslim, and Orthodox leaders. Immediately after arriving at Esenboga Airport, he visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, as Benedict XVI and St. John Paul II did before him. He then met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan at the new presidential palace, who had recently spoken against the hypocrisy of the Western World when it comes to tolerating violent actions of Israel while never hesitating to denounce the Islamic world. The Pontiff praised him for having taken in Syriac refugees and promoted further religious tolerance and unity through dialogue in the face of fundamentalist Islamic groups such as ISIS.

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Wed

19

Nov

2014

Strength in Numbers

by Natalie Yuhas

 

“We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually; we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.” CS Lewis

 

The time had finally come: a Friday afternoon after an incredibly long and stressful week. Actually, it was a Friday afternoon after a string of incredibly long and stressful weeks.  Everyone told me that junior year would be tough, but I didn’t think that I would constantly be feeling like I’m drowning.  So when I finally had the opportunity to

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Wed

19

Nov

2014

Faith in Action: Boston College Habitat for Humanity

by Natalie Yuhas

 

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that builds simple, decent, and affordable houses for people in need. Through volunteers and donations, Habitat for Humanity is able to provide these new houses and also repair houses for low-income families on a local, national, and global level. They have 1,500 local affiliates in the United States and 70 national organizations.

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Wed

19

Nov

2014

Domine, Quo Vadis?

by Margo Borders

 


If you are anything like me, you are feeling the stress of the semester right now. Not only are there tests and papers to worry about, but your thoughts are also consumed by picking next semester’s classes, applying to graduate schools, or avoiding the massive amounts of reading growing on your desk. I’ve spent a lot of my time abroad reflecting about what I want to do this year, this summer, and the rest of my life. The stress of making decisions never seems to slow down.

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Wed

19

Nov

2014

International, interreligious colloquium in Rome examines meaning of marriage and complementarity

by Margaret Antonio

 

From November 17-19, leaders and scholars from around the world are gathering in Rome to examine the meaning of marriage and family life and its role in society. Entitled, The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium, the gathering is sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and co-sponsored by the Pontifical Councils for the Family, for Interreligious Dialogue, and for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

Saying “I Love You”

by Chris Canniff

 

Last spring, with my graduation only a little more than a week away, I was still mired in exams and papers.  Nevertheless, I was trying to carve out time to spend with the people who had mattered most to me over my four years at BC.  Each year introduces you to new people, brings you closer to some, and causes you to grow apart from some others.  As graduation looms, a sense of finality comes to one’s mind that encourages reflection on all of this.

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

St. Mary’s Renovation Project Nears Completion

by Stephanie Johnson

 

On Tuesday, November 18, two editors from The Torch had the opportunity to meet with Thomas Runyon, Boston College Construction Project Manager, to get a sneak peek at St. Mary’s Hall prior to the official re-opening of the building in early December. The major project features both interior and exterior renovation and introduces academic space to a building that previously served primarily residential purposes. The Woods College of Advancing Studies, the Communications department, and the Computer Science department will occupy the academic space.

 

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

Holiness and Depression

by Ethan Mack

 

What is the key to happiness? This question has occupied the lives of philosophers, mystics, prophets and gurus throughout the centuries. However, what is the Christian response to this question? Well, believe it or not, the Church gives a very simple answer: holiness. In other words, if we strive to become saints, we will be happy. Now this might immediately bring to mind the phrase “easier said than done”, but that doesn’t diminish the simplicity of the method. The formula remains simple, even if the execution is difficult. However, what if we reversed the question? Can we easily point to the cause of unhappiness? Could it be that reversing the question also reverses the answer, so that unhappiness is caused by a lack of holiness?

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

History: Johannes Bapst, SJ

by Chris Canniff

 

Johannes Bapst was born in Switzerland a few days before Christmas in 1815.  At the age of 20, he entered the Jesuit novitiate, and after eleven years of formation, he was ordained a priest on New Year’s Eve in 1846.  Two years later, he was missioned to the United States.  His assignment took him to Old Town, Maine, which is thirteen miles north of Bangor.  At the time, the Vatican still officially classified the United States as mission territory, and it was Fr. Bapst who was sent to minister to the few Catholics who lived scattered across that region and to evangelize the Native American communities there as well.

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