Chris Canniff

 Founder & CEO

 

 

 

Tue

28

Apr

2015

A Lesson in Love

by Chris Canniff

 

One time, a friend of mine passed by a tour group as she was leaving Higgins, and she heard the tour guide tell the prospective families, as he pointed toward the statue in front, “This is St. Ignatius of Loyola. He’s the founder of Boston College.” *facepalm*

           

Fortunately, most student tour guides know a bit more biographical data on St. Ignatius than that particular one did.  At that point in the tour, they talk about Boston College and its Jesuit Catholic identity.  Most say roughly the same things about “men and women for others” and “setting the world aflame.”

           

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Tue

24

Mar

2015

The Heart and the Head


by Chris Canniff

 


Philosophers, poets, and priests are each great sources of wisdom because each one lives out a calling to understand the human person more deeply.  They do this in unique ways, but they ultimately reflect on the same enigma, one that lies at the core of the mystery of human existence: what is the relationship between our will and our intellect, our heart and our head?

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Tue

24

Feb

2015

Didymus and Dolly

by Chris Canniff

 

Last year, I was sitting in a class taught by one of my favorite professors, but I wasn’t really paying much attention.  All of a sudden, I heard her mention Dolly Parton, and I thought to myself, “What does Dolly Parton have to do with theology?  We’re talking about Didymus’ treatise on the Holy Spirit.”  The professor was referring to the song “Wings of a Dove.”  I had my laptop with me, so she asked me to play the song on YouTube for the class to hear.  It turns out that it’s about the Holy Spirit.

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Tue

17

Feb

2015

Cassidy and Mike Discuss Policy, Faith, and Catholic Identity

by Chris Canniff

 

Due to the inclement weather, elections for next year’s president and vice president of UGBC will be held February 19 and 20.  Last week, two of the candidates sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Torch to discuss several important issues facing the student body.

 

Cassidy Gallegos, LSOE ’16, and Mike Keefe, A&S ’16, are running for president and vice president respectively.

 

Over the past year, Gallegos has gotten increasingly involved in UGBC.  Appointed last school year as a senator for the Class of 2016, Gallegos was tasked with focusing on mental health issues on campus.  She then applied into the Student Initiatives division, also heading up mental health issues.  She was again appointed to the Student Assembly this year, working on the policy and development committee.

 

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Wed

28

Jan

2015

Hang up the Hookups

by Chris Canniff

 

There never seems to be any shortage of discussion surrounding the hookup culture at Boston College.  Kerry Cronin’s talks on dating and sex routinely draw huge crowds.  Of course, students also spend a lot of time talking about it amongst themselves, albeit with a tone and perspective that is usually different than Cronin’s.  While she advocates replacing hookups with proper dating rituals aimed at love, students who are heard talking about hookups are often relating the sordid details of their misadventures to their friends.  People smile, nod, and laugh along as they hear the stories.  But, the overwhelming attendance at Cronin’s talks indicates that students know the pain that is involved in hookups and instead want something more—to be valued as people and not used as objects.

 

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Wed

28

Jan

2015

St. Ignatius Parish Reconfigures Lannon Chapel

by Chris Canniff

 

Lannon Chapel, situated in the basement of Saint Ignatius Church, was recently reconfigured by the parish to test what positive impacts a layout change might have on the community that worships there.

 

The reconfiguration of the chapel involved relocating the sanctuary space and altar, which previously was along the wall that is parallel with Commonwealth Avenue, to the opposite wall.  The lectern, however, remains where the altar previously stood, although now more centered on that side of the chapel so that the lectern and the altar face one another directly.  The chairs have also been repositioned into a more circular configuration.

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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

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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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

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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Wed

22

Oct

2014

LeaderShape Retreat Promotes Ignatian Discernment

by Chris Canniff

 

From January 4-9, 2015, the last week of winter break, the Boston College chapter of the LeaderShape Institute is hosting its annual retreat at the Wonderland Retreat Center in Sharon, MA. A national organization that has been around for more than 30 years, the LeaderShape Institute seeks to encourage intentional discernment around leadership topics. This year’s retreat will be the third one hosted by Boston College.

 

Courtney Cameron, A&S ‘16, participated in last year’s LeaderShape retreat, and this year, she will be serving as one of the onsite coordinators during the retreat along with Marwa Eltahir, A&S ‘17. Working with Adrienne Dumpe from the Office of Student Involvement and leaders from the national organization, Cameron and Eltahir will help to facilitate the retreat program with each day focusing on one of six themes, which include Building Community; The Value of One, the Power of All; Challenging What Is, Looking to What Could Be; Bringing Vision to Reality; Living and Leading with Integrity; and Staying in Action.

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Wed

22

Oct

2014

If God Had Answered My Prayers

by Chris Canniff

 

Like many people, I enjoy using Timehop, the popular app that lets you see what you were doing one year ago today, two years ago today, etcetera by displaying your old tweets and Facebook posts. Recently, however, it brought back a bad memory from last year. Two problems that had been bothering me had suddenly converged into one larger problem, which hurt me all the more. I asked God to help me in certain ways; I asked God to give me certain things. But he didn’t. One year later, I often wonder what life would be like if God had answered my prayers.

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Tue

23

Sep

2014

Prominent Theologians Teach BC Summer Courses

by Chris Canniff

 

This summer, two theologians of international prominence taught courses at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Massimo Faggioli, a Vatican II scholar, taught “Vatican II History and Theology.” And Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP, a noted liberation theologian, taught “Spirituality of Liberation.” The latter course was co-taught with James Nickoloff, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Both courses were taught in Gasson Hall during the last two weeks of July.

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Tue

23

Sep

2014

Blase Cupich to Succeed Cardinal George as Archbishop of Chicago

by Chris Canniff

 

On Saturday, September 20, it was announced that Pope Francis had appointed the Most Reverend Blase Cupich, Bishop of Spokane, as the new Archbishop of Chicago, a position held for the past seventeen years by Francis Cardinal George, OMI.

 

In January 2012, Cardinal George turned 75 years old, at which time he submitted his mandatory resignation to Pope Benedict XVI as stipulated by canon law. No successor was immediately named, and he remained in his role. However, with his health increasingly declining in recent months, speculation had been mounting that his retirement was imminent.

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Tue

23

Sep

2014

Yes, but...

by Chris Canniff

 

When I was in high school, a man whom I respect very much uttered a line that, at the time, struck me as quite wise. He said, “We all want to go to heaven, but none of us want to die.” I thought to myself then, “How simple yet profound! How true!” Today, when I hear this phrase, I think to myself, “Yes, but…”

 

Yes, but…what about the people who feel that their lives are crashing down around them? Yes, but…what about the people who feel that they are an outcast? Yes, but…what about the people who feel that they have lost everything that had meaning in their lives? Yes, but…what about the people who have been abused and mistreated to the point of self-loathing? Yes, but…what about the people who feel completely and utterly alone?

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Fri

04

Jul

2014

America's Catholic Founding Fathers

by Chris Canniff

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

 

In the summer of 1776, fifty-six noble statesmen dipped their quills into iron gall ink and declared the peoples of this nation to be free. Unsurprisingly, only one of the signers was a Catholic, Maryland’s Charles Carroll.

 

Born into an aristocratic plantation family, Charles Carroll was not initially interested in politics, and civil law barred him from public office anyway because of his Roman Catholic faith. Nevertheless, he and his family were powerful and prominent people in the colonies because of their immense wealth.


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Tue

01

Jul

2014

Countless “Friends” Attend Fr. Neenan’s Wake, Funeral

by Chris Canniff

 

Fr. Neenan

 

William B. Neenan, SJ

Born: January 9, 1929

Entered the Society of Jesus: August 15, 1948

Ordained to the Priesthood: June 15, 1961

Entered into Eternal Life: June 25, 2014

 

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Tue

29

Apr

2014

Chosen for Each Other

by Chris Canniff

 

I will be graduating in a few weeks, but I am not quite feeling the same anxiety that my classmates are experiencing because I will be back at BC next year for graduate school. While the majority of the Class of 2014 will be heading off to different parts of the country and other parts of the world for new schools or new jobs, I will be here living in the same dorms, eating in the same dining halls, studying in the same libraries, learning in the same classrooms, and working with the same professors. Whereas my classmates will be experiencing so many new things, so much will be the same for me. What will be strikingly different, however, is precisely the fact that my classmates will not be here with me.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Time Passed and Passed

by Chris Canniff

 

I had lunch with a friend recently. I first met her in October of freshman year, and throughout that year and continuing into sophomore year, we became friends, getting together often with each other and with our many mutual friends. Then junior year came along and, as any upperclassman will affirm, you can often feel disconnected from your friends as a junior. A small portion live on campus, most live off campus, and many study abroad (some for both semesters). As for myself and this particular friend, I lived on campus, and she lived off campus; I was here for the entire year, and she went abroad in the spring. Now, senior year has been flying by as both of us have so many time-consuming commitments of all sorts, both academic and social. It was nice to be able to reconnect.

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Tue

25

Feb

2014

Liturgy: The Vision of Benedict XVI

by Chris Canniff

 

It has been nearly a year since Pope Benedict XVI resigned the papacy making way for the arrival of an Argentine pontiff whose warm and accessible persona has helped begin a gradual amelioration of the public perception of the Catholic Church in broader society. The perceptual differences between Francis and Benedict, as noted by the media and the general public, I would argue, are not entirely actual. Perhaps in outer form some things have changed, but in their essence they have largely remained the same. Therefore, this seems to be an opportune moment to reassess the entire liturgical vision of Benedict XVI in relation to the liturgical practice of our current Holy Father.

 

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Tue

25

Feb

2014

First Impressions and Final Judgments

by Chris Canniff

 

We are always told how important first impressions are, especially when going for a job interview or going on a first date. Although our good Lord said, “Judge not, that you not be judged,” many people, nevertheless, will make their final judgment about others based solely on their first impression of them. But, oh how wrong we often can be when we do this!

 

I have an unusually good memory when it comes to knowing other people. Even if I meet someone just one time, I often remember their face and their name long after they have forgotten mine, which can make for some awkward encounters around campus when I presume someone remembers me but they actually don’t. And so, since I am capable of remembering my first interactions with someone whom I ultimately form no relationship, just imagine how much more distinctly I remember my first encounters with those who are my friends. I formed an opinion of them in almost an instant, as most of us do, but I surely have been wrong on a number of occasions.

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Mon

17

Feb

2014

UGBC Candidates Discuss Policy, Faith, and Catholic Identity

by Chris Canniff

 

Elections for next year’s president and vice president of UGBC will be held February 18 and 19. Last week, the candidates sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Torch to discuss several important issues facing the student body.

 

Nanci Fiore-Chettiar and Chris Marchese, running for president and vice president respectively, are campaigning against Lucas Levine and Vance Vergara. Each one of the candidates is a member of the College of Arts & Sciences Class of 2015.

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Tue

28

Jan

2014

Catholic School “Survivor”

by Chris Canniff

 

This week all across the nation, Catholic schools are celebrating their heritage as part of the annual National Catholic Schools Week. I have been in the system, so to speak, for nearly my entire life, and I owe just about everything that I am to my Catholic education.

 

I first walked into a classroom in September of 1995, at the age of three. In just a few short months at the age of 22, I will walk into Alumni Stadium to receive my diploma from Boston College. Nevertheless, my journey through the halls of Catholic academia will not end there. I will be returning to BC in the fall for a master’s program in

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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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