Faith Features Columnist
It can be a fun exercise to look back on how I used to process certain aspects of my faith, and how my perspectives have changed throughout my four years of theology education at Boston College. Attending Mass is one of these perspectives that has shifted, and one which I am reminded of each week. This obligation, which used to be about satisfying the desires of my parents and God, has shifted to my opportunity to be part of a consistent faith community and spiritual practice. Community worship in Mass satisfies my deep spiritual reserves, and can calm my spirit. In a way, it has become my weekly reset button.
This weekend, I had the opportunity to go on a male mentorship program retreat in beautiful New Hampshire. Aside from the breathtaking change of color in Fall foliage, and hours spent canoeing on glassy water, the brief hiatus from BC allowed for a much-needed break from the chaos of college life. The retreat consisted of logistical training sessions and exercises in vulnerability, to equip the seventy or so junior and senior men on the retreat to be excellent leaders for our freshmen mentees. The weekend centered on sharing life stories, fun activities in the outdoors, and getting to know the seventy other men, all dedicated to the shared goal of bettering the Boston College community through our commitment. The retreat was not explicitly religious, but the moments and memories we shared reflected a beautiful part of the Christian faith: fellowship through community.
I vividly remember my first day of Kindergarten. I tried to act tough, but I was inevitably the kid with uncontrollable tears streaming down my face as soon as Mom and Dad dropped me off at school. It’s not that I didn’t like my school or friends, but it was clear from then onward that transitions were going to be hard for me. Certainly entering my senior year at Boston College, I didn’t cry when my parents left (at least publicly), but four weeks in, I still find myself struggling to adjust back to this new environment. I am a little taller now, but just like my 6-year-old self, I still struggle with transitions in my life.