Adriana Watkins

 

Editor-in-Chief

 

Adriana Watkins is the Editor-in-Chief of The Torch. She is majoring in English and French, with a minor in Philosophy. She spends many of her waking hours editing documents, and especially enjoys the humor, the enthusiasm, and the sometimes “creative” punctuation of the Torch staff.

Fri

28

Jun

2019

Kudzu Catholics: A Thriving Southern Diocese

by Adriana Watkins

 

In her novel Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather tells the story of a fictional 19th-century missionary sent to New Mexico—an expansive, under-served, and rather dangerous diocese. Despite the many obstacles to his work, Fr. Latour nourishes the impossible dream of one day building a cathedral. 

            

His companion exclaims, “Time brings many things to pass, certainly. I had no idea you were taking all this so much to heart.”

            

Fr. Latour laughs and replies, “Is a cathedral something to be taken lightly, after all?” 

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Wed

01

May

2019

The Gap in College Healthcare

by Adriana Watkins

 

When I got an awful cold my freshman year, University Health Services provided me with enough cough syrup to start my own pharmacy. When I returned with pinkeye, they gave me antibiotics. When norovirus hit, they shrink-wrapped the food in the dining halls. BC students have generous access to medical care and precautions, but I’m concerned we don’t pay enough attention to the fastest-spreading disease on campus: apathy.

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Wed

01

May

2019

Be “Vigil-ant”: Explaining the Church’s Longest Mass

by Adriana Watkins

 

It’s a Saturday night in early spring, and a few hundred Catholics are crowded around a fire pit outside the church doors. Don’t be fooled; you won’t find marshmallows or hot dogs at this family gathering. Instead, you’ve stumbled upon the beginning of the Easter Vigil, the lengthiest Mass in the Catholic Church—and undoubtedly the richest, the most profound, and the most anticipated, the crown of the year.

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

C21 Panel Discusses Responsibilities of Catholic Journalists

by Adriana Watkins

 

On Tuesday, March 12, The Church in the 21st Century Center (C21) marked the kickoff of its Easter Series, a program of lectures and panels that promote the renewal of the Catholic Church. The first event of the series was a discussion between John Allen (Editor, Crux) and Fr. Matt Malone, S.J. (President and Editor-in-Chief, America Media), moderated by Jack Dunn (Boston College). Presented under the title “Revitalizing the Faith: Ideas from the Catholic Press,” the panel explored questions of transparency, efficiency, and responsibility in the world of journalism as it concerns the Church today.

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

Living in Full Voice

by Adriana Watkins

 

The Sunday before Lent, the Gospel reading included this verse: “From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Lk 6:45). That line had slipped past my attention for my whole life until then—it seemed like I was hearing it for the first time. In fact, it moved me so deeply that the next day I packed my bags and shipped off to a convent.

 

This really did happen. Of course, correlation isn’t causation; regardless of the readings at Mass that day, I’d known for months that my Philosophy class would spend its spring break with a Benedictine community in Petersham, Massachusetts. But that verse from Luke was in the back of my mind during the retreat, and even more so now as I reflect on my time there.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Theatre and Theology: Performing the Passion

Crucifixion from the Passion Play at Oberammergau
Crucifixion from the Passion Play at Oberammergau

by Adriana Watkins

 

This time next year, in the spring of 2020, many men in the German village of Oberammergau will be in desperate need of a visit to the barber-shop. Their long hair and beards are, indeed, part of a fashion trend—one established over 400 years ago, when Oberammergau first began staging its famous Passion Play. The performance, which has occurred every 10 years since the 17th century, is the town’s lasting legacy of gratitude to God—and it’s part of a greater history of honoring the Easter mysteries with theatre.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Hope in the Birdcage

by Adriana Watkins

 

It’s painful to say anything against Emily Dickinson. Arguing with that little woman is like picking a fight with Sylvester Stallone, where no one is rooting for you and you didn’t want to fight in the first place. I love Dickinson, and having said that, I have qualms with her on an issue that’s especially interesting to us as Catholics—hope, and our role in maintaining it.

 

When I was eight, my godparents gave me one of the first books of poetry I owned for myself. It was Catherine Kennedy’s A Family of Poems, an erratic sampler of works from the literary giants mixed in with limericks and haikus. Many of the poems were too complicated for a children’s collection, but all of them were paired with beautiful watercolor illustrations, so I went through the book many times.

 

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Sun

24

Feb

2019

Upcoming “Sing It to the Heights” Will Benefit St. Columbkille School

Tickets for the event will benefit the St. Columbkille Partnership School, students of which are pictured here with Fr. Leahy
Tickets for the event will benefit the St. Columbkille Partnership School, students of which are pictured here with Fr. Leahy

by Adriana Watkins

 

For the last 15 years, Boston College students have faced off in a friendly singing competition, staged—literally—by the members of the Emerging Leader Program (ELP). All proceeds from “Sing It to the Heights,” which will take place this Thursday, will be donated to the musical arts program at Boston’s St. Columbkille Partnership School. Last year’s competition raised approximately $4,000, and as the day of the competition approaches, organizers and contestants alike are hoping for an even stronger turnout this week.

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Tue

19

Feb

2019

BC Video Premiere Explores Jean Vanier’s L’Arche Mission

by Adriana Watkins

 

Despite the hundreds of miles between Boston and Trosly-Breuil, France, philanthropist Jean Vanier was able to address a Boston College audience on February 13 through prerecorded interview. The audience gathered to hear Vanier speak about his mission in founding L’Arche, a network of homes for the intellectually disabled. The BC-exclusive debut of the video was sponsored by The Church in the 21st Center, which will release the content online during Lent.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

World Youth Day 2019 Draws Hundreds of Thousands to Panama

Faithful and priests from around the globe gather for Mass at World Youth Day.
Faithful and priests from around the globe gather for Mass at World Youth Day.

by Adriana Watkins

 

An open-air Sunday Mass on January 27 finished the World Youth Day (WYD) event in Panama City, Panama, which drew hundreds of thousands of participants. The gathering spanned five days and featured opportunities for prayer, Confession, Communion, fellowship, cultural celebrations, and music. In addition to the many bishops, thousands of priests, and hundreds of thousands of young people, Pope Francis came from Rome to say Mass and speak directly to young Catholics. He remained in Panama for three days before returning to Vatican City on Sunday evening.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

Why Catholics Need Poetry

by Adriana Watkins

         

If I had a dollar for every person who doesn’t like poetry, I’d be richer than most poets. I know the pictures in many people’s minds: white-bearded men with quill pens; thirty-year-olds in French berets reading nonsense at an open-mic night; teenagers wearing thick eyeliner and scribbling in notebooks. All of these images are accurate. But there are many kinds of poets, and there is (and should continue to be) another type of person particularly in love with poetry: the Catholic.       

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

A Christmas Thought Experiment

by Adriana Watkins

            

A popular method of meditating on the Scriptures is to imagine ourselves as characters in the passage we’re reading. We’ve all been the blind man, or Martha, or Zacchaeus—this exercise reminds us of the reality that Jesus still speaks to us, visits us, and heals us. The Nativity scene, too, has many wonderful perspectives in it, including those of the shepherds and the Magi. Yet, I know plenty of college students who aren’t feeling quite as collected as the shepherds this time of year, or quite as regal as the Magi, and they’re not willing just yet to identify themselves with the cows in the stable.

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

Nothing But the Best

by Adriana Watkins

 

This summer, my family invited me to join them on a 17-mile bike ride through the mountains, and because I love them, I accepted. But also because they “invited” me sternly not to refuse. It’d been a long time since I’d gone bike riding, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’m not too coordinated—last year I walked straight into the living-room wall. My prospects for success on a bicycle seemed grim.

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

Migrant Caravan Waits in Tijuana After Difficult Journey

Border fence between Tijuana (right) and San Diego's border patrol offices (left).
Border fence between Tijuana (right) and San Diego's border patrol offices (left).

by Adriana Watkins

 

A group of approximately 2,000-3,000 migrants from Central America reached Tijuana, Mexico on November 15, with more set to arrive as the weeks continue. The travelers, mostly seeking escape from poverty and violence, are citizens of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.  They made the trek in a long line or caravan, alternatively walking and hitchhiking. During rest periods, they camped in large groups.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Catholic Church Responds to Synagogue Shooting

Police officers are seen after a gunman killed eleven people Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/John Altdorfer, Reuters)
Police officers are seen after a gunman killed eleven people Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/John Altdorfer, Reuters)

by Adriana Watkins

 

On Saturday, October 27, a shooter killed 11 people worshipping at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. The attack came as congregants were participating in Shabbat morning prayer services and a bris (or circumcision) ceremony. The shooter, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, was injured in the confrontation with police and taken into custody. He made his first court appearance the following Monday, and is being charged with 44 federal counts, most of them relating to malicious targeting of a religious group.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Giving the Homily: A Priest's Perspective

by Adriana Watkins

 

A Catholic who goes to Mass every Sunday and holiday has, by age 18, heard nearly 1,000 homilies. That same Catholic has brainstormed, composed, and delivered about zero. For priests, of course, the practice is routine—and in a recent series of interviews, six clergy at Boston College illuminated some of the mysteries surrounding it.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Wall of Lies

by Adriana Watkins

 

My family spends Sundays at a packed Catholic church, where the pews are full. In such close quarters, the voices of the congregation seem louder to me than at other churches—not least of all during the Kyrie and Confiteor, two confessions of guilt and pleas for mercy. After Mass, we leave the parish and drive past a nearby landmark. It’s a large plywood billboard that reads in colorful letters, “YOU ARE PERFECT.” I call it the Wall of Lies.

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Wed

26

Sep

2018

Homesickness as an Echo of God

by Adriana Watkins

 

There are some problems so ordinary it feels wrong to suffer because of them. Around October, when 95% of the student body catches the same common cold, your peers might be understanding of you, but they won’t be too sympathetic. There will come a time, as you drown in Kleenex, that you realize it’s silly to complain. All you’ll likely hear in response is, “Me too, and I’ve got pinkeye.” Someone will always have it worse, and you might feel bad for struggling so much with a burden everyone seems to have.

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Wed

26

Sep

2018

Partying Gregorian-Style

by Adriana Watkins

 

If you’ve been on campus at least one weekend, you’ve heard the beat of bass-lines on a Friday night. Of course, there’s plenty of shouting and laughing and singing along, too. But have you ever wondered, as you weaved through dorm buildings, what all the noise is for? All the upbeat, celebratory songs—what’s the occasion?

 

“Well,” you say. “I’m not sure about that, but I do know when I’m talking to a killjoy.”

            

Granted—but on thinking further, you’d probably answer, “We’re celebrating Friday night.”

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Thu

03

May

2018

Religion and Skepticism on Campus: An Interview with Bishop Barron

by Adriana Watkins

 

On April 24, Bishop Robert Barron, theologian and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, spoke with The Torch staff on the subject of religion and skepticism. The Bishop began by describing skepticism as a perspective that often “traps” its adherents “in Plato’s Cave,” unable to broaden their views. He then went on to describe possible benefits of the outlook, especially in the context of the university, and to offer advice to students as they continue their search for the truth.

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Thu

03

May

2018

Hookup Culture an "Aspirin for Loneliness"

by Adriana Watkins

 

On April 12, a large group of Boston College students filled a Merkert lecture hall. They were there to hear Fr. Paul McNellis, S.J., speak about the landscape of modern college sexuality, in a talk entitled, “The Hookup Culture: Here to Stay?”The lecture came at what McNellis considers an important moment, as the normalization of transient sexuality has made hookups “just one [more] lifestyle choice.”

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Thu

03

May

2018

Alfie Evans Case Renews Humane Healthcare Debate

Image: Katie James / Facebook
Image: Katie James / Facebook

by Adriana Watkins

 

Alfie Evans, a child removed from life support by a British hospital, died on April 28 after a lengthy legal debate surrounding his care. His case gained international attention in the week before his death, as his parents petitioned the court to overturn the decision that would remove him from his ventilator. Evans’ situation has been compared to that of Charlie Gard, who died in 2017 after a similar court-ordered removal from life support. 

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Wed

28

Mar

2018

Model UN Gives Historical, Religious Perspectives

by Adriana Watkins

 

On the weekend of March 16-18, approximately 650 high school students flooded hotel rooms at the Westin Copley. The students, who came from around the country and the world, arrived in Boston with suits and ties, extensive notes, and starry eyes. Phones were put away one by one as the crowds filed into their conference rooms. The doors shut, the noise died, and the fun began: the teenagers were no longer students, but delegates. Their goal? To save the world.

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Wed

28

Mar

2018

Quizes, Horoscopes, and Self-Identity

by Adriana Watkins

 

There is no way to write this article without sounding like a killjoy. If the reader will forgive me, I think it’s worthwhile to talk about self-identification and social media. Specifically, BuzzFeed quizzes, “tag yourself” memes, astrological signs, and all the other things pop culture offers to help us fill in the blanks about our identities. We consume these things for fun, but to what extent do they illustrate a real search for self-knowledge?

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Tue

27

Feb

2018

Superbowl Ad Misuses MLK Speech

 

 

by Adriana Watkins

 

Though the Superbowl is a few weeks past, it is profitable to talk for a moment about a controversial advertisement premiered during the game. The spot in question was created by Ram, the automobile company, to promote a line of pickup trucks. Instead, the ad promoted passionate discussions over its voiceover material—a 1968 sermon by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., titled “The Drum Major Instinct.”

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