Libbie Steiner

Editor-in-Chief

 

Libbie Steiner is originally from Portland, Oregon and in the class of 2017 at BC. She is a Theology major with minors in Hispanic Studies and Faith, Peace, and Justice. Outside of being editor-in-chief and a writer for The Torch, she is involved in the Emerging Leader Program, the Society of St. Thomas More, the Ignatian Society, and tutors immigrants in English as a Second Language in downtown Boston. She also enjoys employing her West-Coast-honed thrift shopping abilities, making inspirational quote posters for her friends and herself, introducing her East-Coast-raised friends to indie music and dim sum, and rejoicing whenever it rains.

Tue

25

Apr

2017

Learning to Love

 

 

by Libbie Steiner

 

One night a few weeks ago, I sat on my bed, talking to my roommate until too late. We have this ritual where we turn off all of our lights but one when we are about to go to sleep, so the room is bathed in a pink glow from the lamp’s pink shade. We sat opposite each other on our beds, talking about everything and nothing, giggling uncontrollably at times. I had a sudden nostalgic thought that times like these were quickly coming to an end. Soon, we would be living in different rooms in different states. I thought about how much I loved her, and how much I loved so many people who came into my life over the past four years.

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Tue

25

Apr

2017

Euthanasia Debate - Rebuttals

This Catholicism 101 special feature is part two of a debate between the editorial staff of The Torch.

To view the first part of this debate, please click here.

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Wed

29

Mar

2017

“We Must Be Pilgrims”: Saint Francis Xavier and Discernment

 

 

by Libbie Steiner

 

 

On April 7, 1545, in Negapatam, India, the Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier wrote these words to Father Francisco Mansilhas: “May God our Lord grant us in time the gift to perceive his holy will. He wishes that we should always be ready to fulfill it whenever he manifests it to us and lets us feel it within our souls. To fare well in this life, we must be pilgrims ready to go wherever we can serve God our Lord the more” (The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier, translated by M. Joseph Costelloe, S.J.).

 

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Wed

29

Mar

2017

Fr. Monan, S.J., Beloved Former BC President, Dies at 92

by Libbie Steiner

 

The 24th president of Boston College, Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J., passed away on March 18 at the Campion Center in Weston, Massachusetts at age 92. Aside from being remembered as an extraordinary man who treated everyone with warmth and respect, Fr. Monan is credited with preventing Boston College from falling into financial crisis and guiding the university towards the national recognition it enjoys today as one of the leading Catholic universities in the country.

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Wed

22

Feb

2017

“The Beginning of Devotion”

 

 

 

by Libbie Steiner

 

 

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.” In a perfectly distilled phrase of just six words, poet Mary Oliver commanded my consideration. I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant, but I knew that I wanted to know. I knew that it was significant and truthful. There was something about it that made me want to let the words sink into my soul.

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Tue

06

Dec

2016

Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming

 

 

by Libbie Steiner

 

The first time I heard the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I was sixteen years old. I was in Woodburn, Oregon, sitting in a meeting hall of Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (United Treeplanters and Farmworkers of the Northwest), a union for farmworkers. The walls were decorated in colorful murals depicting farmworkers, children, and giants of the farmworker justice movement, including César Chávez, a champion of workers’ and civil rights in California. Some of the people depicted in the murals held signs that read, “¡Respeto y sueldo justo para los campesinos!” and “No somos ilegales. Somos trabajadores” (“Respect and a just salary for farmworkers!” and “We are not illegals. We are workers”). In the mural, an elder held an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the leader gestured to it as he told the story.  

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Tue

15

Nov

2016

Work and Pray

 

by Libbie Steiner

 

This past weekend I attended my fourth Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) in Washington, D.C. The IFTJ is a gathering of students, campus ministers, Jesuit Volunteers, parishioners, and other people connected to Jesuit institutions across the country. It is a time of learning, praying, and advocating for social justice. The IFTJ is always one of the highlights of my fall semester, and this one was no exception. Speakers like Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J., and Lisa Sharon Harper inspired me to speak truth to power. In breakout sessions on everything from questioning the morality of Just War Theory to examining how to write about politics and faith in a polarized world, I learned how some people are applying Catholic social teaching and Jesuit ideals in challenging times. After spending the weekend with nearly 2,000 people who care deeply about “a faith that does justice,” my hope was renewed after a week where I wasn’t able to find much hope. 

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Tue

25

Oct

2016

“Your Joy is Your Sorrow Unmasked”

by Libbie Steiner

 

At the beginning of this school year, one of my best friends told me that she was depressed. She felt a growing sense of unworthiness and struggled to feel joyful when she did things that normally made her happy. Having little motivation to do much of anything, she feared she would not be able to enjoy her senior year. She had become angry with God for allowing her to feel this way. There was a defeated tone in her voice as she disclosed how she was feeling to me. She has lived with depression and anxiety for some time now and she was frustrated to have to go through it again. My heart ached for her, wishing that I could confer on her some of my own happiness and relieve her of the darkness that seemed to be closing in.

 

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Tue

27

Sep

2016

A Meal with Jesus

by Libbie Steiner

 

 

One morning this past week, as I was eating breakfast and listening to a podcast of the readings for the day, the Gospel struck me so profoundly that I was moved to tears. It was a passage from Matthew’s Gospel which tells the story of Jesus eating with a tax collector:

 

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ He heard this and said, ‘Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:9-13).

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Tue

26

Apr

2016

Doves, Pigeons, and Seeing the Spirit in All Things

by Libbie Steiner

 

“Cada mañana, la gente encuentra tantas palomas aqui en la iglesia,” said our guide with a laugh. “Every morning, people find many doves here in the church.”

 

I found myself once again in La Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesús in the historic center of Quito, this time on a tour to learn about the art, architecture, and history of the church. Though I enjoyed learning about the difference between baroque and chiaroscuro styles and seeing a sacristy with a chandelier and five-foot tall oil paintings, it was that line that struck me the most.

 

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Tue

23

Feb

2016

Su Gloria Llena Toda la Tierra

by Libbie Steiner

           

 

Natural beauty is in abundance in Ecuador. The country is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, teeming with life in every direction. Plants and animals of many kinds flourish here thanks to the unique climate. “The land closest to the sun” also has incredibly variable terrain, from the warm Pacific coast to the Andes mountains to the lush Amazon to the east. I have been able to spend a lot of time in nature over the past month, and as such I have been thinking more about the value of nature in my life.

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Tue

26

Jan

2016

Finding God in All Parades

by Libbie Steiner

 

 

Evidence of the Catholic presence in Quito, Ecuador can be found everywhere. Most bus drivers keep small crosses or pictures of “Papa Francisco” at the front of their vehicle, there is a church on practically every street corner, and festivals and parades for religious holidays regularly stop traffic in the bustling historic center of the city. Ecuadorean Catholicism is vibrant, diverse, and rich in tradition.

 

 

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Wed

09

Dec

2015

Director of Restorative Justice Program Speaks on Healing Within the Church

by Libbie Steiner

           

On Thursday, December 3, the Church in the 21st Century Center hosted Bill Casey, Director of the Restorative Justice Program for the Northern Virginia Mediation Service, to speak on the power of telling stories in the process of healing. The evening was sponsored by a group called Voice of the Faithful, a lay organization founded in Wellesley, Massachusetts in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Church. Thomas Groome, professor at the School of Theology and Ministry and Director of the C21 Center, described Voice of the Faithful in his opening remarks as a group intending to “keep the faith and change the Church.”

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Tue

08

Dec

2015

The Lord Our Justice

 

by Libbie Steiner

           

It hardly needs to be said that our world is broken. During Advent, during this time of what should be tranquility, preparation, prayer, and grace, I see so much anger, strife, violence, and fear. Terrorist attacks, refugee crises, mass shootings, intolerance of immigrants, and other troubling events have made it difficult to see the good in the world. Advent is supposed to be a time of preparation for Christ, but all I see is a world in pain.

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Tue

17

Nov

2015

Blessed and Broken

by Libbie Steiner

           

A few weeks ago, I attended my third Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C. As always, it was an invigorating weekend of learning, praying, and advocating for justice. Four years ago, as a junior in high school, I traveled across the country from Oregon to attend my first IFTJ. I could not have predicted the impact that weekend would have on my life and my faith. I met inspiring people who were working for change and learned about the many martyrs in faith who died working for a more just world. I fell in love with many social justice movements and learned what “a faith that does justice” really looks like.

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Tue

17

Nov

2015

The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice Promotes Bridges of Dialogue

by Libbie Steiner

           

Over 1,700 people from Jesuit institutions and parishes gathered in Washington, D.C. from November 7-9 to learn, reflect, advocate, and pray about domestic and international social justice issues. A group of over twenty students and several faculty members from Boston College attended the conference. This year, the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) hosted nearly 100 delegations, including groups from Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, and Canada. From high school students to well-known social justice advocates to a plethora of Jesuits and scholastics, everyone in the Ignatian family was represented.

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Tue

27

Oct

2015

Leave with More Love

by Libbie Steiner

 

 

On a Saturday night in early October, I found myself going to see a concert downtown with one of my roommates. On a whim, I had miraculously found tickets to the sold-out show only three days earlier. It was one of those nights that only come at the start of autumn when the leaves are beginning to change colors but it’s not too cold and the air feels crisp and smells cool but the sun is still out at 5 pm.

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Tue

29

Sep

2015

On Grief and Grace

by Libbie Steiner

 

 

Though it doesn’t quite befit the warm early autumn air and the excitement that always accompanies the new school year, I have been thinking lately a fair amount about grief. I have also been thinking about grace, and how grief and grace sometimes go hand in hand.

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Tue

29

Sep

2015

Catholicism 101: Mass of the Holy Spirit

by Libbie Steiner

 

On Thursday, September 10, the Boston College community celebrated the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit. Presided over by University President Fr. William P. Leahy, SJ, and with a homily by School of Theology and Ministry Associate Professor Fr. Thomas Stegman, SJ, the Mass called upon the Holy Spirit to bless the new academic year.

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Tue

28

Apr

2015

C21 Panel Discusses Catholic Perspective on Immigration

by Libbie Steiner

           

On March 30, the Church in the 21st Century Center hosted a panel of three experts on the changing demographics of the Church and how the immigration system affects Catholic families today. Hoffsman Espino, an assistant professor at the School of Theology and Ministry, spoke about the recent findings of his study of the emerging Hispanic population in United States churches. Mary Holper, an associate clinical professor at Boston College Law School, offered her first-hand experiences of the American immigration system through running an immigration law clinic. Donald Kerwin, the executive director of the Center for Migration Studies in New York, spoke about the Catholic perspective on keeping families together.

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Tue

24

Mar

2015

Supreme Court Sends Notre Dame’s HHS Mandate Case Back to Circuit Court

 by Libbie Steiner

 

On Monday, March 9, the Supreme Court sent the University of Notre Dame’s HHS contraception mandate case back to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration. In what is being called a landmark decision for religious liberty in the United States, the Supreme Court effectively nullified the Circuit Court’s previous dismissal of Notre Dame’s case against being forced by the HHS to offer health insurance to its employees that provides subsidies for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs with no co-payment. In light of the Hobby Lobby decision last June to allow the Christian company to not provide health insurance that violates the owners’ religious convictions, the Supreme Court has asked the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its dismissal of Notre Dame’s case.

 

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Tue

24

Feb

2015

CRS Ambassadors Host Film on Migration

by Libbie Steiner

 

On Wednesday, February 11, Boston College’s Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors hosted their first public event on campus. The Ambassadors showed a documentary called A Bridge Apart, which depicts the lives of Central American migrants surrounding the perilous journey many people take to reach the United States. The Ambassadors are a group of students on campus who are committed to living out “a faith that does justice.”

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Wed

28

Jan

2015

Cornerstone: Silent Retreats

by Libbie Steiner

 

Sometimes the world we live in can feel full of distraction, noise, and chaos. The endless sea of obligations and commitments that make up everyday life can often detract from our spiritual well-being. We become caught up in life and forget to truly live. Making a retreat to purposefully come back into communion with God and ourselves can be renewing and centering.

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Wed

28

Jan

2015

Archbishop Romero Recognized As Martyr

by Libbie Steiner

 

On January 8, 2015, a Vatican commission officially declared that Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated as a martyr for the Catholic faith. This is seen as an important step on the road towards sainthood. Romero was murdered in 1980 for his vocal criticism of human rights violations committed by the Salvadoran government. An Italian daily newspaper, Avvenire, was the first to report on the commission’s decision to recognize his martyrdom.

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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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