Fr. McShane is the President of Fordham University. He previously served there as the Dean, as well as in other higher education administration positions at Le Moyne College and the University of Scranton. Fr. McShane holds a Ph.D. in Church History.
My Jesuit vocation -- What can I say, but that I simply cannot imagine doing anything else with my life. My heart would not sing as much. My life would not be suffused by the kinds of joy and satisfaction that I now know after a journey of almost 48 years. In short, I enjoy being a Jesuit priest.
All of this may seem abstract; therefore, let me be more specific. I take great joy in celebrating the Eucharist. I come alive when I am called to preach the gospel in a way that addresses the lives and specific concerns of the people whom God has put before me. I enjoy the ministry of higher education. Nothing makes me happier than spending hours speaking with students about their fears and their dreams. I feel complete and happy on those days when I am able to help a homesick freshman come to terms with the terrors with which she is wrestling. Although I (in spite of the fact that I am Irish) have never gotten comfortable with the mystery of death, I am humbled and grateful when the families of alumni, faculty, staff or students welcome me into their grief and share their sorrows with me. I get more satisfaction than I can describe from working with the many people charged with improving the culture of the Fordham campus. I jump at the hundred opportunities that come my way to speak of the Ignatian vision of education, of service and of life. I am energized by the challenge of transforming coworkers into colleagues in ministry.
To sum up, I am a Jesuit, because against all odds and certainly against the canons of good judgment, a merciful God has somehow made me useful to His purposes. He enlists me in the work of building the Kingdom, one soul at a time. And I find it thrilling--and I use the word advisedly--to be a companion in mission with the Lord Himself. And I am grateful beyond measure for this call and this companionship.