Loyola House – Boston, Massachusetts
Kevin Collins, the son of two Boston College alumni and himself a graduate of Boston College High School and Boston College with a Master's in Education (also from Boston College!), led a lively conversation on discerning his vocation and how Jesuit values informed his journey to becoming a father, a husband, and the Chief Advancement Officer at St John's Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts.
Citing the impact that BC theology professor Fr. Michael Himes had on him, Kevin talked about cultivating a “mature faith” distinct from the faith of his childhood or even that of his parents. He described his professional trajectory that took him around the world, with stops in Jamaica, across the US (and yes, back to BC), and shared his path to discovering the intersection of what he is good at, what brings him joy, and what the world needs of him -- a discovery that allowed him to learn how best to serve his faith, his family, and his community.
St. Mary's Chapel – Boston College
Jesuit Connections gathered at Saint Mary's Chapel on the campus of Boston College for its annual Advent Mass and reception. Rev. Michael Rossman, SJ, presided and Heather Angell offered an insightful Advent reflection drawing upon her lived experiences, the scripture readings, and Catholic tradition. Heather is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Heather is also an alumna of Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA) and currently serves as Tutor Director and Chaplain at EVKids and the Harvard Catholic Center. Following Mass, family and friends were invited to a reception in St. Mary's Hall.
And by popular demand, the full text of Heather’s reflection appears below. Many thanks to Heather for sharing this!
Pizza & a Pint & Ignatian Conversations: “Building a Bridge between the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community”
St. Ignatius Church -- Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Best-selling author and Boston College alumnus Rev. James Martin, SJ, joined Jesuit Connections for the second installment this year of “Pizza & a Pint & Ignatian Conversations” in an evening co-sponsored with the Jesuit Parish of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Over seventy young adults participated in an intimate, honest, and wide-ranging conversation about the underlying issues of Fr. Martin’s latest book, Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into A Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Spirituality, and how the book has been received by the Catholic community. Fr. Martin stayed for pizza and beer (and a lot of selfies) with Jesuit Connections before addressing an overflow capacity crowd of more than 1,000 at St. Ignatius Church for his book talk.
Loyola House -- 300 Newbury Street, Boston
Jesuit Connections began this year’s series of “Pizza & a Pint Conversations” with a panel of four alumni from Jesuit schools who have been called to serve the Church as ordained clergy or lay ministers in a variety of Christian traditions.
Lyn Campbell, a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, shared her experience of being raised in the Roman Catholic tradition and the path that led her to becoming an ordained Episcopal priest. Joceyln Collen, a Fairfield University graduate with a Master of Divinity from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, discussed her work with “Catholic Women Preach" as chaplain and religion teacher at a school for special needs children, and her prison ministry work in Boston. Jason Downer, SJ, a graduate of Canisius College and a current student at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, shared his journey to becoming a Jesuit. Mina Kaddis, a graduate of Boston College, talked about his multi-dimensional vocation as a practicing dentist, husband, father, and an ordained priest in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Boston College – Connors Center, Dover, Massachusetts
Jesuit Connections opened the 2017-2018 year with a retreat amid the early fall colors of the Connors Center, Boston College’s historic retreat house set among 80 wooded acres on the banks of the Charles River in rural Dover, Massachusetts.
The retreat was led by Meg Fox-Kelly who overseas retreat programs and serves as a chaplain at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. It included a Mass celebrated by Joe Simmons, SJ, a theology student at Boston College and staff writer at The Jesuit Post. The daylong retreat introduced the theme for Jesuit Connections’ 2017-2018 programming: “Vocation, Broadly Interpreted.” Retreat participants arrived to a warm welcome from the Connors Center staff and gathered in the mansion’s oak-paneled South Parlor (which includes a secret door hidden in one of the bookcases!) for Meg’s first talk on Ignatian discernment. Over the course of the day, Meg drew on her own vocation as a mother, former high school religion teacher, and a campus minister.
MIT – Pierce Boathouse, Cambridge
Under cloudy skies and cool temperatures (i.e., ideal rowing conditions!), Jesuit Connections held its last event of the 2016-2017 season at MIT’s Pierce Boathouse on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge.
Will Doss Suter, who rowed at Boston College as an undergrad and now rows with the MIT Rowing Club, provided a nautical interpretation of St. Ignatius’ famous charge to St. Francis Xavier, reflecting on the nature of teamwork, leveraging individual talents, and working in harmony with crewmates, the boat, and the river itself. Peter Lew, director of the Boston Dragon Boat Festival, then provided a brief history of dragon boating, tracing its origins back a millennia to ancient China and the Duan Wu festival, before introducing the basic skills it requires.