Executive director of Campus Ministry at Fordham University
What brings you joy?
What brings me joy is the spirit of our missionary God, who has planted in me a great desire to follow his Son to seek out those not here with us. On a university campus, they can be students who are present yet absent in the class you teach, those who stick out alone in the cafeteria, or those who reside in your building, darting in and out of their rooms in ear-phoned isolation. They are specially those who find themselves exiled outside of the gates of our minds by race, creed, gender, sexual identity, political leanings, or by their social and economic status. In this seeking and finding, God is uncovered, the God who is for us, with us, and in us.
What insights into prayer can you offer others?
In the midst of work that demands much time and attention, I hold on to the insight that “prayer is the courage not to act.” I pause to pray before composing that thirty-third email of the morning or celebrating three Masses on two campuses on weekdays, composing that fourth homily for the weekend; or accompanying the third directee, or answering the door when troubled souls come knocking late in the day.
Didn’t Jesus repair to the mountain to pray as crowds pressed on him from all sides? It is in stepping off to ascend in prayer that grace descends to meet me that I may more consciously act according to God’s will and less on mine.
What’s something most people don’t realize about Jesuit life?
That Jesuit life in community as “friends in the Lord” is really, truly, and precisely friendship in the Lord. Left to ourselves, by ourselves, and in ourselves, we could likely choose differently!