Revitalizing Our Church: Ideas From University Presidents

Hello and welcome. My name is Karen Kiefer, and
I’m the director of the Church in the 21st Century Center. And thanks so much for
coming out tonight. When you entered the room, you
probably received a blank card. It’s an opportunity for
you to write a question that we might get a chance
to read later in the evening. We’re going to pick the cards
up on the side aisles at 7:45. So you’ll see our team kind
of go down the side aisles. Just pass the card with the
question over to our teammates. OK, so that’s happening at 7:45. Another housekeeping note. You can follow us on
Twitter at #BCRevitalize. Many of you look so
familiar and you’ve been to so many of our
events over the years. And you know that the Church
in the 21st Century Center’s mission is to be a catalyst
and a resource for the renewal of our Catholic Church. And we have been so happy to be
doing that work for the last 17 years. When we had discussions
about the kind of programming that we wanted to put forward
after August, in our summer, and the turmoil in our church,
we were very intentional. We thought, how
can we put together some beautiful minds
and some wisdom and offer some ideas
that can actually help revitalize our church, and
then wrap those conversations in the hope of Easter? So we intentionally decided
to create an Easter series. And the series itself is a
combination of four programs. The first program,
some of you I know attended just a few weeks
ago, Revitalizing our Church: Ideas from the Catholic Press. We had the great pleasure
of having our associate vice president for university
communications, Jack Dunn, interview Vatican
analyst and the editor of Crux, John Allen, and
also father Matt Malone, who is in charge
of America media. They came together and have a
conversation with Jack on ways that we can
revitalize the church. They were terrific. If you weren’t able
to attend the event, please go on our website and you can really enjoy the video
and listen to it. John Allen is so prolific,
and he’s writing, writing, writing all the time. And yesterday he put
he put out an article and he mentioned his experience
here a couple of weeks ago. And he writes, “While I
was at Boston College, I reconnected with the
Church in the 21st Century Center, an initiative
launched in 2002 that’s become one of the
country’s premier forums for smart conversations
about the Church. I took part in an event hosted
by Jack Dunn, university spokesman and vice
president, featuring myself and Jesuit father Matt
Malone, editor of America. Along the way, Dunn
quoted from a 2008 piece by Malone on why
he remains a priest after the latest wave
of abuse scandals that broke over the summer. Father Malone
responded, this summer reminded me of something my
father, a retired firefighter, said to me after
the 9/11 attacks. Those firefighters who
died in New York, dad said, died running into the building. When there’s a fire, Matty,
and lives are at stake, somebody has to run
into the building. I remain a priest
because somebody has to run into the building. John Allen continued,
over and over, I’ve been struck by how many
American Catholics still seem willing to run
into the building.” Isn’t that the truth? Tonight is our second
program in the Easter series. It’s ideas from the
university presidents. We are still excited to
engage in this conversation with Father Leahy, who is
the 25th president of Boston College and has been
really leading the way here for 23 years. We also have Sister
Janet Eisner, who has been the president of
Emmanuel College for 40 years and is the
longest-sitting president. And we also have Father
Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University. And he has been president
there for 16 years. But before he was
president there, he was also president
at University of Scranton for five. So somebody do the math. It’s collectively 80-something
years worth of leadership. So we’re honored and
grateful that they’re here. Before we begin
our conversation, I just was reminded of
celebrating, all of us, the feast of the
Annunciation on Monday. And Mary saying yes when
she really didn’t know what was ahead. And isn’t that what
faith is all about? Isn’t that why we’re here? And so before we begin,
could I ask you to all stand and recite the Hail Mary
for ourselves, for each other, and for our church. In the name of the Father, and
the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. I’m switching seats. Father Leahy, Sister
Janet, Fahter McShane, thank you so much
for being here. So we’re going to
start off and the first question it is, you’ve each been
involved in the Catholic Church for years. What words or
phrases or thoughts would you use to describe
the state of Catholicism and the Catholic community
in the United States? And I’m going to lead
with Sister Janet. Thank you. Two words come to mind. Two phrases come to mind. One is, clearly, we
recognize we’re in a crisis. But the words that
come to my mind are ever-changing,
ever-God with us. Now, I’m cheating a
little because that’s the theme of our centennial,
ever-changing, ever-Emmanuel. The second phrase is really
coming from something that Father [? Brian ?] has
spoken of so many times. The church in America is
at the center and the edge. And the church is at the center
because of so many graduates of Fordham, Boston College,
Emanuel, and other places where Catholics have a
major impact, certainly involved in business
and so many other ways. And if you think
of your graduates, you realize just how central
and how significant so many have contributed, as
Catholics, to American society. It is also a church at the edge. And I can think
of no better place to look than at the southern
border of our country. And I’ve been in touch
today and in the past with a number of Sisters of
Notre Dame who are down there. And they are people who have
spent 30, 40 years in Brazil, have now quote, “retired.” And they’re in McAllen, Texas,
working with the migrants as they come through the border. And this morning, they told
me that over 700 migrants– that means children as well– came into the country. They came to this
respite that they operate under the auspices
of Catholic Charities. I want to tell you
about McAllen, Texas. So in this experience,
over 700 came through. They have a chance for a day
or two where they get clothes, they have a chance for a
short time to give them food. And a number of these are
children coming across. And these people receive a
ticket to a bus ride to a place that they can find a sponsor. And that may be in Philadelphia,
in Boston, or New York. Then they have
another ticket that gives them the date that
they have to go before ICE. Now, this is what’s happening
on our southern border. It is also the church
at the edge there. And it is the church, certainly
in our own archdiocese, where I think mass is celebrated
in 26 languages on a given week. So, to me, that is
the American church. The center and the edge. Sister Janet, where there is
darkness there is also light. Thank you. Father McShane? Thank you. You just stole one of
my lines, actually. I would say, for me,
the best description I have of the American
church at the present time is the American church is once
again a missionary church, but doesn’t realize it. Why do I say that? I think that right now,
like Paul in Athens, the church is
confronting a culture that it does not
understand and for whom it’s calling the shots. And we have to engage, at the
present time, a culture which is natively digital,
very much at home in cyber in all its forms. An age and a culture
which describes itself as spiritual but
not religious, hungry and not satisfied, not
sure where to turn, but knowing that they’re in some
darkness and looking for light. I noticed everyone was looking
for light a few moments ago. And everyone was heading
in that direction. So I think the American
church right now has once again been returned to
the status of a mission church in missionary
territory, which creates for it tremendous challenges. And the first challenge
would be the challenge to admit that we are
in mission country. The second is to
learn the language of the nation, or the country,
or the culture in which we find ourselves so that
we can, as Paul did, make some connection. As he said to the
Athenians, I see that you are very religious people. You have altars to all the gods. You even have an altar
to the unknown god. So I think we have to learn
how to engage a culture which is know post-Christian,
and therefore missionary, and say to it, you say that
you are spiritual but not religious. Let me tell you about what
your spirit is being drawn to and you don’t know its name,
or his name, or her name. So I think we have to
learn the language. And we have to become bilingual. And also, frankly, we can learn
from our own missionary past how to engage a culture which
is multifaceted, multiethnic. That was our identity
as a national church. We didn’t have a
national church. We had many national churches. So I think we can learn
from our own past. But we are missionary and we’re
at a Paul in Athens moment, I think. Going back to move forward. Well yeah, but also being
brave enough to admit– we have to be honest and
with apostolic honesty say we’re somewhat clueless in how
best to engage a culture which is foreign to us, and
which finds what we say, our God talk, is
foreign language. We have to learn the language. We have to be bilingual. And the last thing, and this is
what St. Ignatious would say. We have to be discerning
enough to know when to present the Lord and
when to get out of the way so that we don’t stand
in the way of people’s encountering the Lord once
they learn the language, which will enable them to touch the
unknown God that seeks them and that they feel
hungry for, but they don’t know how to address. So that’s a little
philosophical, but I noticed that
Father Madigan was here, so I wanted to be a
little philosophical. Father Leahy? I would say, first of all, I
think the church in the United States, and really,
around the world, is wounded and in
too much disarray. And a lot of that
is the aftermath of the sexual abuse crisis. How are we going
to move forward? And that’s where I think we’re
still very much struggling. But with that set
of conditions, I would say the roots of the
church and a sense of faith still does exist smaller. The practice is
very much different. But I certainly find
here students have faith. And alumni have faith. It’s expressed differently. And so I think the huge
challenge for the church is how does it move forward
in the midst of major issues that have to be acknowledged? But I want to move forward. I don’t want to stay caught up. I don’t want to forget
the past, especially the aftermath of sexual abuse,
but I want to move forward. And I think there
are a lot of people who want to move forward. It’s how to move forward. Right. So speaking of how. Can I stay with you
for the next question? So the next question
is what advice do you as longtime presidents
of Catholic colleges and universities have
for Catholics, especially the hierarchy, about
revitalizing our church? I’ll start that and I’ll
draw from my experience in Catholic higher education. I think we have to
address the governance problem in the church. And if there’s one lesson from
Catholic higher education, it is moving to
boards of trustees that have laymen and women
on them, with individuals who were part of the
founding religious community or dioceses. But having boards
of trustees that are involved in the operation
of archdioceses or dioceses with reserve powers in terms
of matters of faith and core teachings of the church. But everything
else, I would say, should function just as
the board of trustees of our institution’s does. Finance, construction,
facilities, budget. That is done through
a board of trustees. I think it would be huge. Second thing that if
I were giving advice to a group of bishops, if you
were all bishops out there, I would say one of the
great strengths of Catholic higher ed has been it engages
in assessment and planning. And we now need, I
think, a major initiative to ask our parishioners,
the people of God, what do they see in the church? What do we need to fix? What’s working well? So assess. And then I think we need to
ask, how do we move forward? So we’d have the
listening sessions, but then we’d get down
to strategic choices. And that’s that strategic
planning that I think is absolutely critical. So let me stop with those. I have one more I want to
bring up at some point. I would like to just follow up
on what Father Leahy suggested. And that is if you think of the
model of boards of trustees, they’re made up of laity. And I think one of the strongest
messages that we need to get to the hierarchy of the church
is that the deposit of faith– going back to John
Henry Newman– is in fact with the
sensus fidelium. The sense is [? the positive ?]
faith is with the faithful. It is not only
with the hierarchy. So I think a realization
of the role of laity is critical for governance
and also for engagement and in mission. And I, of course, would
want to say something very special to the hierarchy
about the role of women in the church. And it seems to me that
anytime there’s an opportunity to engage women in key roles in
the church, that has to happen. One story that I
remember is that Cardinal Suenens from
Belgium, when he went to the beginning of Vatican
II, two days before it. He was the moderator
of Vatican II. So this is 1963. What did he say when
you entered the room with all of the Cardinals? He said, where’s the other
half of the population? Now this is 1963. That question hasn’t
been addressed yet in many ways in the church. So I think that’s essential. I think the opportunity
to appoint women as responsible for parishes. While that happens in some
places in the Midwest, there are a couple of recent
examples of that in Connecticut with the appointment of women
to deal with the churches. But I think in
higher education, we have the responsibility
to help educate laity, but also to make certain
that we have prepared women for roles in ministry. And then that somebody
pays attention to it. We were talking earlier
about the role of women religious in this
country in terms of building the educational
system and part of the health care system as well. And it seems to me that was
a great gift to the church and it needs to continue. And I can’t say
enough how important it is, if there is
a seat at the table, there need to be women present. And I often comment that some
of the difficulties we’re dealing with right now
may have been alleviated, had there been women’s voices
heard earlier in the church. So that’s my message
over and over. Not what I’d like to say. It’s what I do say
to the hierarchy. Now I just want to do
a general corrective. You know, in our
conversation at dinner, what I think we all
agreed on was this. It’s a more bold statement
than you were humbly stating. And I would say that therefore,
the American church really was the creation of
American religious women. It was, what we would call in
history the empire of charity, was created by religious
women in the United States, whether it’s the schools, which
were very, very different. You had the academies, which
were owned and operated by the congregations. You had the diocesan schools,
you had the parish schools, you had nursing schools, you
had colleges and universities. That’s that. Then you had orphanages,
you had the hospitals, you had just about every
aspect of Catholic life was, I would say, enriched
by religious women. When I think back–
and Bill, I suspect even though we’re having a
continent away from one another in our upbringing, we were
prepared for our sacraments by religious women. I was prepared by the
Religious of Jesus and Mary. And I would suspect
you were [INAUDIBLE].. So just a general corrective. Many of us were. So I think the contribution
that has been made should be the basis upon which
the invitation to contributing now is extended. And I think we all do
have a sense of history. To be Catholic is to
have a sense of history. We should be able
to work that out. So you’re being too humble. I know that’s a
Notre Dame trait. It is not a Jesuit trait. I just want to admit
that, all right? Because, you know a humble
Jesuit is an oxymoron. Except at Boston College. We’re not going there. I don’t work there. He’s a graduate, by the way. Twice over. Twice over. But I’ve got to go back
to what both of you said. I think the first thing
that we have to do, for and with the hierarchy,
is I think we have to invite them to conversation. And I think, Bill, you’re
very clear about this. This is one of the great
things about the Church in 21st century. It’s about dialogue
and discussion. No one has the whole truth. But if we sat down
with the hierarchy, and I want to think of
the hierarchy more broadly conceived than just the bishops. I’m talking about men and
women of power and influence and wisdom in the church. And sit down and engage in a
very honest and humble dialogue where we would say to the
bishops and others, what is it that you want from us? What is it that we can give you? And then we have to
listen to the bishops tell us what it
is that they want. What do they need? And I think the
bishops would say we need people to lead us
in the art of discernment so we can face up to the
problems but move forward. We need people who will help us
to dispel curricula for schools and also the pastoral
curricula for the parishes. So I think dialogue
and conversation is the basis upon which
we have to develop our way of proceeding
into the future. But that’s going to be hard. Because there are
terrible moments. This is terrible. There are terrible
moments where you’re at meetings with bishops,
and college presidents, who are very humble,
say Catholic colleges and universities are where
the church does its thinking. Yikes. And the bishop says, well,
I do this, I do that. We have to be humble enough not
to pull out full battle array, but rather get to the
table with the humility and the understanding that
we’re working together to serve the people of God. The church. And to help the
church go forward. So I’m just listening to the two
of you, it’s really dialogue. Bill? And I think it’s right
on target that we have to be inviting to
members of the hierarchy. But they’re divided
in many instances. And it’s hard for them to
figure out how to move forward. We can talk and talk and
talk, but we need action. We’ve got to have some very
definite programs, initiatives. Because if we don’t, we’re
like a patient bleeding and we lose life
the longer we delay. So I think there’s an urgency. And I think the big challenge
is moving forward as a church. And that means everybody’s
got to be involved. Bishops have to go forward. I know many laymen and women
who have offered great things. Their time, resources,
including money. And it’s hard to get it
channeled so we effectively respond. You know, if I could just say,
I think the bishops really right now feel
beleaguered, lost, and lacking in
direction and power. So I think you’re right. But one of the things,
Bill, listening to you, that seems to be something
that we can and should offer, is can we offer retreats? Can we offer
leadership seminars? Can we offer
concrete things that will allow them to get to,
you know as the Lord says, come away a while, and get
a sense of who they are, what they are, what
the problems are. The other thing is
the listening heart. They have to learn to
listen to their people, not to speak to their people. As we do. When I say that about them,
I’m saying about myself too. So I think that’s practical. I think we all want to move on. And we want action. And I think that’s a
lot of the frustration. But let’s go a
little bit deeper. Because how does
the church change its culture of leadership? How does it change? For the better? Slowly. Slowly. But this may be a
new moment as they look at their own fragile
experience and their need for others. And it just could
be that they would look for help outside
of themselves, whether it’s for
retreats or whether it’s for how to organize. When you were talking
about that, Bill, how to work with the diocese. There’s so many parts
to an archdiosese. The different
committees that may not know what each other is doing. And if you use a comparable
model that you’re talking about, but
then work with them, say really this is
how to move forward, I think that it may be a
moment that might be welcome. Because they are very well
realizing their frailty right now. I think, Karen, I would start,
in terms of a new culture, in two ways. One, I’d reorganize
the seminary system, the diocesan seminaries
in the United States. Instead of having them removed
in kind of monastic settings, I would propose that the
seminarians of the future be educated with laymen and
women and other seminarians. So you see it at the North
American College in Rome. You see it here. At some degree it’s at
Catholic U and in Chicago. But when our Jesuit
scholastics are in classes with
laymen and women, and when they are capuchin
candidates for priesthood, they will be soon La Salette. I think when you have
that kind of experience in education in your
formative years, that does change your mindset. A second thing that I
think is so important for new leadership
is the modeling that goes on in Catholic schools. So teachers, and principals,
and individuals who are part of elementary,
secondary, higher ed. If they have the listening
heart and if they care about everybody
around them, I think that is a model
that is effective, which speaks to your point
earlier about Catholic schools. I’m convinced so
much of the renewal of the church in
the United States will be shaped by what
happens on the campuses of Catholic colleges,
universities, high schools, and elementary schools. That’s why they’re so important. We need to save them. I agree with you. Could I share the stats
that we got from Washington? Yes, that was powerful. Father Leahy and I had
the great good fortune of being engaged in an
ongoing dialogue of bishops and presidents. At one of the meetings, a member
of the staff of the Conference of Catholic Bishops said this. And this is something
to really think about. 10% of college-age Catholics
go to Catholic colleges and universities. 10%. Those 10% become 40%
of the active members of every parish in the country. And they contribute 70%
of the money that keeps the church in America running. 10% of 10 Catholic colleges. They become nearly the majority
of those who are parishioners. And they give, by far,
the largest amount of money to the works of
charity of the church. So the importance, as
Father Leahy indicated, the importance of the schools
cannot be overestimated. It’s just an extraordinary
impact that we have. Now I want to go back
to the listening heart. One of the things that stands in
the way of the culture changing is that cultures eat
strategies for breakfast. They’re very hard to change. They’re very, very
difficult to change. And one of the
reasons is ownership, which is another way of
saying who has power. And power– it’s exhilarating. It’s intoxicating. And it just won’t
let you let it go. I, jokingly, but
not always jokingly, say you can’t
repeal original sin. You really can’t. It has staying power. Just talk to anybody
who is a human being. You can’t repeal original sin. So one of the things
that we have to do, and I agree with you, we
have to change the culture. But part of the
changing of the culture has got to be the examination,
individually and collectively, of conscience, about what
has ownership and power done to distort what the image of
the church can and should be? Bill, it goes exactly
to what you’re saying about having seminarians
educated with lay people is very important. It’s also important to
have lay people educated with seminarians. Because together, if
they all have ownership, that from the very
start, that changes. It can crack somewhat
the power of clericalism, which is a terrible
snare, delusion, and I would say intoxicating
sin, or structure of sin. But you can’t
repeal original sin. If you find somebody who
is free of original sin, you have found our lady. She’s the only one. Not even John the Baptist
is in that category. As presidents, you’re
always planning and looking ahead into the future. I mean, you have to. Father Leahy, you’ve often
quoted the verse from Proverbs, where there is no vision,
the people perish. What are some
effective approaches that the church could
adopt that you’ve adopted? Well, I would begin– I have a longer time, right. I mean, think about
it, Sister Janet, you’ve been through a lot. Well, I think the key word
is changing and adapting. And the vision makes you
make the changes you need to. Come back to the
example of the seminary. So if you listened to the
number of religious communities that have moved
their seminarians into colleges and universities,
not in a separate hothouse seminary, and you recognized. But the dioceses
have not done that. And I think there’s
more to that truth that you were both talking
about than we realize. But I think to be able
to change, and change in response to who
the students are, if you want to look at that. And that’s essential. The institutions that are
still around are doing that and have done that. And it seems to me that
one of the greatest needs right now is to meet the
student generation where that generation is. And I think of Pope Francis
saying that we’re really a field hospital. That means taking the
message, taking the mission to where the people are. And I think for us
in higher education, it is really
understanding, listening, and engaging with
students with how they see their commitment to faith. And for so many of us,
it has to do with service and the engagement,
particularly that I think this generation has, is
even different from others. But the link of that
service to gospel mandate does happen sometimes,
that people actually see, because they’re
encouraged to recognize, what are the social
teachings of the church? Is that what we’re doing when
we’re giving this service? Whether it’s alternative
spring breaks or whether it’s the 50,000
to 100,000 hours of service that they give. So that, to me, is
meeting this generation where it is so that
this generation begins to make some connections
which they have not had, many of them, to this point, to
church and to gospel mandate. And I think it’s critical that
we, as part of the church, especially in parishes and in
apostolic works of the church– so that might be a school, it
might be some kind of social center– we’ve got to embark on a
great campaign of listening to individuals,
asking them, what’s influenced you in your life? What bothers you
about the church? What would you like to see? And inviting others maybe
to come back to the church. But we, one-on-one
in small groups, can have great conversations. Then we’ve got to sift all that. And that’s where the
decision-making has to come in. I say to many
groups, leaders have to provide vision and decisions. We need that fresh vision. And then we have to call out of
the leaders of the Church, not just bishops, but laymen
and women, clerics, priests, decisions. We have to say, as I said
to a group yesterday, we’ve got to get the
fleet out of the harbor. It’s rusting at the dock. Let’s break out to the
open sea, put out the nets, and go forward. I agree. One of the things
that I think we have to be honest and ask
ourselves the question, do we want to
preserve the church? Or do we want to make God
available to the world? I think if we ask
the second question, the first is answered. But if we go with the
first question first, then we’ve lost it. So I want to go back to
what both of my colleagues have said. Sister talks about there is a
discovery of spiritual strength and a religious
moment in service. We should learn
something about that. And in the listening
to the people, I think we have to– and I said
this to the cardinal secretary of state– who was it? It was [? Schillebeeckx? ?]
The church is the sacrament of
the encounter with God. We have to make it clear
that the church exists not for herself, but the church
exists to make God available. And so we have to listen. Where do you find God? How do you find God? How do we learn
to listen and make decisions on what we’re going
to do in terms of our culture? The culture of the
church, as it serves to make the encounter with
God possible, captivating, illuminating, compelling,
life-changing and life-enriching. That’s the center of it all. I also think I would
love to go into a parish and take you know all of
Lent and go through the five points to that
Cardinal Bergoglio made at the pre-conclave
gathering of the Cardinals before his election
six years ago. And I’m sure all of
you have read those. If you have a device,
just hit your device Bergoglio conclave observations. And he captures a
lot of the stuff that we were talking
about at dinner and here about the danger of a
self-referential church. Forgetting that the church
exists for God and the people, not the other way around. I would love to do a Lent
on those five statements. Because Bill, they are what
we’ve been talking about. So that’s what I would say. And listen very carefully to
the wisdom of my colleagues. You’re so humble, Joe. I’m a New Yorker. I have no humility at all. I don’t even know how to
spell it, for God’s sake. Well what’s interesting, as
university presidents too, I mean you’re doing strategic
plans, you’re looking ahead. Can you see the
church doing that? Are they ready to do that? Do I think the church
is ready to do that? I’d say not really ready to
engage in the process leading to results. I think we have a lot
of half-hearted efforts at renewal. We’ll do things in parishes. But just look at the data. The attendance at
mass, or marriages taking place in the church. Where is the deposit
of faith alive? And how do we nourish that? So I think too many
parts of the church are, as one veteran priest here
in the archdiocese said years ago, we’re playing
too much defense. We need to get out
with a fresh message, talk about the
roots of our faith, be excited, share
it, and go forth. I’m going to build on something. One of the sad things I think
about in the life of the church right now, is the three
most extraordinary days of the year are the days
that have the smallest number of people in the pews. And they are Holy Thursday,
Good Friday, Holy Saturday. That’s where you get
people to encounter, to experience the full
power of not the church, but the full power of God
breaking into human history. So it’s an advertisement
or it’s an underlying of what Bill was just saying. It’s important to give them
the experience, to invite them into almost an unvarnished
experience of God’s love for them. That’s what we’re about. And sometimes that’s lost. We’re doing not
only defenses, we’re also worried more
about the ceiling than we are about the heart. And I worry about the ceiling a
lot, let me be honest with you. Let’s talk about the
future of our church, which is young people. You’re all in the business
of engaging young people, and you do it quite well. Can you talk a little bit
about student formation on your campuses? On how you are bringing
young people along on their spiritual journeys? What’s working? Well, I would say critical
to any Catholic college or university is the curriculum. How does the curriculum engage
students in the large questions about the meaning of life,
what’s important to them, and what is Christianity
and Catholicism offering? So they need to be
taught basic things. And that’s where the
curriculum is so important. But then I would say
my experience here is it’s the relationships
and experiences outside the classroom that
are equally important. It’s what happens
in residence halls. It’s retreat programs,
it’s service programs helping students integrate
those experiences. What is it I believe and why? What touches my heart? How have I experienced
love in my life? Who is God? They need opportunities to
discuss those with others and then ultimately answer
the questions themselves. So I really think
curriculum is key. I think the humanities
are essential. And it gets students talking. I mean, how many
students have said it’s awkward to have a God
talk or to talk about God? But opening up their
minds and hearts to that is so important because
gets them started. It’s why, to me, this
sense of community that is essential and is
certainly very, very aware of it on Catholic
college campuses is central to their
understanding of who they are and how that links
to the program. What links are they making
to their courses in theology and philosophy that they’re
really experiencing, not in the classroom but
outside where it’s reinforced, whether it’s in retreat? I think one of my concerns
is how many people avail themselves of that
opportunity and they come away saying this is an amazing. We have a strong
sense of community. We’re together. We learn this way. And I think there’s
more that can be done there to listen carefully. You started talking about
the importance of listening. And that is the only way
we’re going to get the church, it seems to me as
we know it today, to move forward without fear. And I think the students
already have a grasp of that. And we can actually
learn so much from them in terms of how
they come together and what they want to do. They amaze me over and
over with what they see and what they’re
ready to move with. That’s the future. At Fordham, one of the things– I can say that word here, right? At Fordham, we have a core
curriculum as BC does, as Emmanuel does as well. I have learned over the
years, in all the time I’ve been at Fordham in
one capacity or another. Every freshman hates the core. Hates it. How dare you tell me
what I have to learn? I’m an adult agent. OK. Every freshman hates the core. Every senior appreciates it. And every graduate
brags about it. Because it opens their minds
in a structured way and plants questions or the
seeds of questions, which are very, very important. So I’m underscoring what
Bill and others have said. The curriculum is
very important. At a Jesuit institution,
oddly enough, philosophy is really the center. Because it teaches you how
to think, not what to think. It gives equips you for life. Second, I think you know
with Jesuit schools, and I suspect the same is
true with Notre Dame schools, we have a vocabulary that we
use, which students at first bridle against, and
then they adopt. And they adopt it
with great enthusiasm. They talk about cura
personalis, they talk about the
search for the magis, and they talk about
community and the values of Jesuit education. We want to be men
and women for others. We want to be men and women
of compassion, conscience, competence, and deep
commitment to the cause of the human family. The language that we give
them seeps into them. It owns them as
much as they own it. They identify with it. We have to run with that. That’s the second. So I would say that’s
one of the things you do. The third, let’s be honest,
Catholic higher education is an act of faith
in the power of faith to work itself out over time. We have to be patient
and understand. We plant seeds. We structure knowledge
and the way in which people can engage the world. But then you have to sit
back and you have faith in the power of faith
to work itself out. My last point, let
me be clear on this, and we talked about
this at dinner. One of the things that
we find very interesting is that graduates of Jesuit
colleges and universities, when they get out
into the world, they will do a number of things
which are interesting to us. One, they will seek
out a Jesuit parish. If you live in New
York, the parish where young adult Catholics
get together on Sundays is St. Ignatius on Park Avenue. It’s a mission church. Very poor area. Park Avenue, a block away
from the Metropolitan Museum. You get the meaning. Here in Chestnut Hill, I would
imagine it’s St. Ignatius. And all over the country,
it would be the same. Why? They want to go where they
were fed to begin with. Where they became
adult believers. And they want to have that
same experience again. And they want to grow in it. They will also seek out
retreat opportunities. And this is where the act of
faith and the power of faith is justified. These become the
leaders as well as the people who fill the pews. And they’ll be the people
who will be colleagues. And this is something I
think that we didn’t say it, but they become
companions with the Lord and colleagues with
priests and religious in and bringing a
new church to birth. And that’s an important thing. And we do talk about
being companions, breaking bread with the Lord. And so those are the
things I would throw out. You know, it’s a wonderful
thing that universities can do to light that fire in
the hearts of young people so that when they do
graduate, they are seeking out the right parish and they
are trying to continue to grow their faith. And that’s definitely a gift
of a Catholic university. And I’m also thinking too about
your campus ministries and some of the model programs
that parishes could adopt. I’m just trying to
always direct this back to how we can help the church. The best practices
of what you’re doing, how can we bring
them into the parish? And I know here
at Boston College with the School of
Theology and Ministry, we’re graduating so many young
people that are going out into the parishes, and they’re
taking the ideas that they’ve learned during their time here. But any thoughts on that? Well, before we
get to that, I want to highlight the importance of
older Catholics with younger Catholics. I have been struck by the
number of recent grads or current students at
Boston College who love to talk to their grandparents. And I know of individuals who– these are college-age
students or recent grads– who don’t necessarily go
to mass during the year, but on the summer, when they’re
visiting their grandparents, they love to go to church
with their grandparents, partly because they
have brunch afterwards. But it’s that conversation
with the grandparents. The grandparents have a
sense of faith and tradition. And they have memories. And memories are just critical
to handing on a culture. So those of you who are
grandparents or aunts and uncles, you have a big role
to play, along with parents, in handing on the faith. Because you have a
lived experience. And I think young people
want to know, why is it that you believe? How do you handle
difficult moments in life? And those conversations over
brunch or being at mass, doing something
together, invaluable. I would confirm
that all the way. We see it with the current
students, with newer students, with older alumni as well. But also it’s their
grandparents that have the best grasp of the
faith because sometimes it’s skipped the next generation. And so the students do go to
talk to their grandparents more so than I realized. And it’s the grandparents
who come to see them at all their events. And I just think that
is a significant role– Maybe all the grandparents
ought to be made adjunct faculty of our institution. That’s not a bad idea. One of the things that
all young people to do have, at least at Fordham, and
I know at your schools as well, they have a nose that can smell
a phony a million miles away. Grandparents, they see
an absolutely natural, celebratory, and serene
faith lived out day-by-day. And they will sometimes
ask grandparents, why are you people of faith? And the answer is not why
am I a person of faith? Let me tell you
about an experience. A critical experience
in a person’s life, in the relationship
between the grandparents. This carries enormous
weight because they have the radar that allows
them to know whether or not you’re telling the truth. And that’s an
extraordinary gift. The other thing
that you mentioned at that dinner, Sister, what
students who will say I’m just spiritual not
religious, the strength of the residual
culture shows itself at times of great crisis. Personal crisis or
university crisis. I can tell you this. There were no nonbelievers in
New York on September 11th. There were none. Absolutely none. And there are no
nonbelievers in a class that has lost a classmate. There is this
understanding, which they learned from their
elders, which is very powerful. And we should learn from that. That’s one of the moments. One of the resources that
we have is this powerful– maybe fading, but
it’s still powerful. And we should learn from that. What can we learn about
how the faith acts? How it serves as
an empowering tool, a consolation, and a
way in which someone comes face-to-face with
the power of God at times. What did we used to call them? Liminal moments. Only the philosophers
would know what that is. Liminal moments, right? When you’re at the boundaries
and the peripheries and so on. These are the moments
where who we are becomes most apparent
to us, and where our needs are most apparent. You talk about grandparents
modeling their faith. That’s really what
it’s about, models. Can I go back to the question
about your campus ministries and maybe some good models
that your universities have started or adopted
that the church could use, moving forward? I would say in my experience,
find a shameless Francis Xavier figure who will go around
the dorms and opening weekend while the parents are there. We had this happen at
Fordham, which was great. We had a Jesuit– not Irish, an Italian
American– who went around and offered to bless
every room with the parents and the kids there. This is a kid who
would cook dinners. He would be with the kids. And he had young women
who were his colleagues and they would do the same. What you need are people
who are in love with God, who have an experience
of God in their lives, and who are enthusiastic and
pretty unashamed, utterly shameless, about being
forthright about it, and sometimes pushy. And then you need to clone them. But again, the kids can tell
whether it is real or not. And when I was a kid, it
was the nuns who did this. They were shameless pied pipers. And they got everybody
to do things. They brought out the joy as well
as the great strength of faith by the way they live. That’s what I would say. I think there are programs
that can be transferred from a college campus
to a parish setting or to a wider audience
of the church. I’m thinking not just
of weekend retreats, but I’m thinking
of helping people learn how to pray
in different ways and understand the
Eucharist better. We’re a Eucharistic church. People need to know more
about what that element is in the heart of faith. And then I think in classrooms–
you started us tonight with a prayer. I think that’s a great thing. I think sometimes we’re afraid
to pray in explicit ways. And that’s part of who we are. What’s that
relationship with God? Prayer is that conversation. People do it differently. But helping students
understand and everybody understand God is there. We need to let him find us. And that means being quiet
sometimes, being open, being in his presence. One of the initiatives this Lent
for my campus ministry, which is very oriented to
service, but this time they said Tuesdays
and Thursdays we hope you will make
use of the chapel, the time for quiet and prayer. And so it’s real encouraging
of students to do that. So it’s very acceptable. It becomes oh,
this is a Tuesday, this is a Thursday,
to get it started. It seems to me too that
when you talk about prayer, the prayer that everyone
knows is the Hail Mary. No matter whether they’ve
been to church in 15 years or whether that is with
the younger generation is familiar with. And I think talking
with them about prayer. The Pope Francis to them
who calls out everyone to have a personal
encounter with Jesus and to do it
unfailingly every day. That’s a joy of the gospel
and several other places. So we say that to students and
then the busy persons retreat, and so on, to help people
come to know what that means, what prayer is. And students begin to ask
questions more and more. One thing– I agree with
everything that has been said. One thing that’s a humbling
realization but one that I think we have to
embrace and live with, is that we have to understand
that one size doesn’t fit all. We have to find those ways
of piety and religiosity which work for
different students. In days gone by,
we would say, well, there are different ethnic
expressions of the faith. Thanks be to God. You know, an Italian Catholic
encounters God and celebrates God in a different way
than an Irish Catholic would, or a Polish
Catholic would. In this generation,
we have to find out what are those very
different but very rich expressions of piety
that allow students from different backgrounds to
celebrate God in their lives, or even speak of
God in their lives. And we have to find
out what they are and how we can
encourage and support students in the very,
very different ways that they encounter God and
the eucharistic encounter. I think that sometimes
we assume too much about the understanding
people have of the Eucharist. What it is, and how we
should enter into it. So I want to underscore what
Bill has said about that. Eucharist expression. There should be
catechesis, I guess, is part of what we
do in the pastorate. And the last thing, Bill,
you remember Bob Dailey who taught us confession? I’d love to have an updated
catechesis about reconciliation and confession, which is not
the sacrament where you learn how bad people are,
but how good they are, and how much they want
God in their lives, and how much God wants them. That’s part of
what we have to do. And I think parishes are doing
a much better job at that, too. So that young people aren’t
afraid of that sacrament. They invite it. I’ve definitely noticed a
big change over the years. At our Catholic Press event
a couple of weeks ago, Father Matt Malone
said this is the time. This is the time
for ideas for people to go into their parishes
and say, I have an idea. Let’s try it. So with darkness, there’s light. But now there’s opportunity. So if you have an
idea, go to your parish and say, let’s give this a
shot and see if it can work. Where maybe three years ago,
one year ago, we’d say no, we can’t do it. But now they’re open. There’s an openness. Because there has
to be an openness. We have to move forward. And one last thing
from my point of view. I’d encourage you
both to think of this. We did something at
Fordham twice which was a stretch the first time. It was greater stretch
the second time. We invited six different bishops
or cardinals, archbishops, to come and preach
to our students in the course of a semester
at the student mass. The student mass on Sunday. We were delighted
that the students came in very large numbers. And not a single
bishop came unprepared. And each one of them was
engaging, smart, witty, challenging, and the
students talked about it. And I can’t recommend
it highly enough. I can’t encourage strongly
enough to even think of it. And not surprisingly,
one of the big stars was Cardinal O’Malley. But we brought in people
on the west coast, the east coast, north, south. And the kids couldn’t get
enough of the experience. It gave them a wider, broader
view of what the church was, and who the church is. And different ways that
God is encountered. We had Wilton Gregory as well. For the kids, he was
jaw-dropping, eye-opening, spectacular. And Sean O’Malley was, by turns,
hilarious and very serious. And the kids couldn’t
believe that he could do both at the same time. So I throw that out as
something really worked for us. Before we move to questions
from the audience, could I just ask
the three of you, quickly, 30 seconds, what’s your
hope to share for the church? The core of the church
remains healthy. It’s up to us to make it
even better and stronger. That was less than 30 seconds. Brevity is best. My hope is that the passion that
many in different generations have had will somehow be
caught and transformed by the current generation
of students and recent grads so that this spark
continues, that’s there but is sometimes quiet. Paul VI was asked what
he wanted the church to be remembered for
during his pontificate. And he said I want it to
be said that at this moment in her life, the church loved. So I want the church to
have such transparent love of the Lord that
the Lord is known, experienced, loved, and served
in the church at this time. And that as we do
that, we remember the words of Luke 18:1. Pray and not lose heart. Amen. So our associate
director Elise Ureneck has sorted through
some of the cards and she’s just going to do
a round-robin of questions. So Elise? Thank you. They’re not directed to
anyone in particular. You’re all free and
encouraged to respond. Catholic universities
and colleges are both businesses
and organizations with a Catholic mission. What can higher ed
teach the church about how to balance its
multiple responsibilities, priorities, and
areas of oversight? I think we’ve touched on
a number of those examples tonight. And some of it does
have to do with the very running an organization. Actually, there are
programs now to give people master’s degrees in how
to help the church run the organization of the church
in the different parishes. And I think that is something
that’s coming out of Villanova or some other places. So I think that
there’s much that can be taught about engaging
people, listening, and at the same time having– as
we talked about– whether it’s task groups or committees
at the parish level, or even at the regional levels. Yeah, I agree. There are programs in leadership
and organizational skills. I think what might
be good would be for the association of Catholic
colleges and universities to sit down with the
bishops and say to them– or not just bishops– but
can I talk about this? We have the Catholic
Health Association. We have all these
professional associations. And we can say to them,
what are your specific needs for leadership, for
inculcation of charism for the development of new
ways of apostolic vitality. And therefore make sure we
have the country covered. Right now, Villanova
does some, BC does some, we do some things. Notre Dame does some things
in the center of the country. One of the things that
we have going for us is great variation. One of the biggest problems
we have is great variation. We have to have some sort
of organizational outreach and consistency and quality
control about what it is that we’re offering. That’s what I would say. And I would go
back to governance. I think what has stymied a lot
of the renewal in the church at the upper levels of
dioceses and archdioceses is things get clogged up because
the decision-making process is too tight and nobody
follows through. So a lot of data may
come in, but if you could say a diocese
or an archdiocese has a lay board
of trustees that’s working with the bishop
and the archbishop, and there are committees
that are responsible, held to get things
done, I think you’d see many good things happening. Thank you. The next question
from the audience. How can young people
take ownership in the church with
clericalism so strong? Well I’m would question the
supposition about clericalism is so strong. I don’t think that’s the case. I think there’s a lot
of rhetoric about that, but the declining
numbers of priests say laity have to have a
higher role, or a greater role. And if I look out of Boston
College, or a Fordham, or Emmanuel, we
religious are not dominating those institutions. It’s lay people that
have been empowered. Took us a long time to
figure out how to do that. So I think the myth is there’s
this great clericalism. I question that. One way or the other,
though, the question really is how do we empower
young Catholics in the church? I think we empower them
by first engaging them. To engage in them, you have
to take them seriously. And I think all of
our institutions do. And then there is
the art and vocation of the question
and the invitation. I think there are a lot of young
Catholics who love the Lord. Let me start with that. I’m not going to say
that love the church. They love the Lord and the
Lord has sought them out. And therefore they
love the church. But no one has asked them,
have you thought about leading? And if he or she says,
well I want to get married, you say so what? That’s a great vocation. The art of the question
is a very important one. It’s an invitation to assume
leadership and ownership. And I think that’s
one of the things that we have to learn to do. And I think in institutions
around the country, that has been learned. And we learned this in
vocational work too. We have young men
on our campuses, and they graduate and
they’re five years out, and they’re still not married. And this is a very
strange thing I do when I’m at reunions
five years, ten years. I want the hand check. And if there’s no
ring, I say what the heck is wrong with you? What’s going on here? And sometimes they’ll
say, no one ever asked me. No one ever asked me
if I’d be a priest. And therefore I
didn’t think I had it. So also in lay leadership. No one asked me. I didn’t think I had it. I think we have to get to
that point in a big way. The power of invitation. I think one of the things that
we’re noticing deliberately is the engagement of the
students with the ministries of the religious
community so that they feel very free to invite
every sister in the Northeast to come to an event at
Emmanuel, which they have done, and there’ll be
an amazing turnout because they want to
know what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it, and
how they can be part of it. And they are part of some of it. This is an initiative
right from the students. We have a group of
students that focuses on the charism of
the founding order. It’s called the 1804 Society. And they attend every event
we have to participate in it. But they have also want to learn
from what’s going on right now. Not from the people who
are already at the college, but from those who are
in different ministries. That’s another way, the
outreach to the students. Thank you. Our final question. Every crisis can also be
seen as an opportunity. What is the church’s
opportunity today? What was the first two words? Every crisis can also be
seen as an opportunity. What is the church’s
opportunity today? I think it’s to be
rediscovered by Christ and to rediscover Christ. To get back to the core. Father Leahy talked about this. The core of the faith is
the encounter with God. And I think the crisis
is inviting us, I think, to strip away those things
which are non-essential. To get back to the core. And the core is the encounter. That takes a lot of courage. It takes hard work. It takes discernment. It takes the courage to realize
that you yourself really need– the benefit of the church is
one soul left wandering alone is at a disadvantage. But an ecclesial body
gives strength, wisdom, and direction. And in that ecclesial
body, I think, it takes courage to
admit that we need that. But in that, to rediscover
what the core is. To allow ourselves to be set on
fire by the encounter with God. And the world will
be transformed. It started with 12. And the gospel. And the church has
been a force for good. But it mostly and primarily,
and I always think of Bill Leahy when I say this, it has made
God available in compellingly attractive, life-changing ways. So I think this is what the
crisis gives us the opportunity to do, is to return to
that and allow ourselves– and we can’t think of
ourselves as virtuous because we are
searching for God. But we can think of
ourselves as rather fortunate that God sought us out and we
finally woke up and allowed ourselves to go search back. So that’s what I would say. It seems to me that one of
the gifts that we have today is the gift of Pope
Francis and his writings that are so attractive
to all, but particularly to young people,
whether it’s Laudato Si, they certainly have
taken to heart. But also that call to prayer
and to relationship with Jesus that clearly can be referenced. And students can
identify with that. But the gap is the
time to move in and to see how this can
work, not in the ways we’ve been trying in the
past, but in new ways with the centrality
of the church. And I would add it seems to
me the possibility of change is greater now than
ever because so much of the previous
superstructure or system is collapsing. And so out of that, when you
see parishes needing renewal, I think it’s easier
to get heard. Or when you’re thinking
about the whole United States and the needs– Janet talked about
immigration at the beginning. There are so many ways in
which people can serve now. And I think of our School
of Theology and Ministry. Many young people who
are getting degrees there did a year or two
of service after college. They want to get
prepared for leadership. I think they’re going to
have great opportunities. We have to figure out how we’re
going to pay them for the work. But never have we
had more wealth than we have today in
the Catholic community in the United States. So what we need is ideas,
and vision, and commitment. There is less of the
resistance that I think there was 25, 30 years ago. I think the leadership,
I’m thinking of bishops and archbishops,
I think they’re beleaguered. They’re tired. If they’ll only help us. So we’ve got to reach
out and say, give us the chance to engage with you. We’ll walk together and
we’ll be better for that. So different times. More opportunities. I think, painful at times to
see the cost of the last 10 years, 25 years, 50 years. I agree. I would throw in
one other thing. The second largest
religious group in the United States after
Catholics is former Catholics. So I think one of the things
that we should not despair of is the possibility of
re-evangelizing people who were brought up in
the faith and for whom the faith was a defining
element of their lives. We have to, back into
the listening heart, ask what is it that
led you astray? That’s a terrible way to put it. Why did you not come back? Or why did you walk? And begin, maybe, to
walk with them again and learn from them what it is
that the church can and should do to be more compellingly
attractive in its life and its presentation. The church, in many ways
in the first centuries, was triumphant. Terrible word to use. Because the gospel was
lived with freshness, with conviction, , with
joy, and with seriousness. It’s a great mixture. So what can we learn from
those who have walked away from the church. In the old days, we’d say they
were fallen-away Catholics. What can we learn
from their experience that will enable us to re-engage
a culture across generations? The emphasis has to be
on the young, to be sure. The young are the future. But at the same
time, we can learn, what is it about the church’s
recent past that so alienated people? And there’s a
strange thing here. And I know this is going
to sound Jesuitical, but I am a Jesuit. Father Sosa has said
we have to stop railing against secularism. We have to stop railing against
kind of a tepid unbelief. Because we have to read
the signs of the times. And perhaps those are
the signs of the times. And we have to read the
gospel in the light of that and learn how the gospel
has to be presented in light of those things. So no more railing, but
listening hard, even to the critic. It’s like if you’ve
ever read [INAUDIBLE],, and I know you all have. I know it’s your
bedside reading. It’s on your tables. I’ve been to your rooms, and
you don’t know I’m there. [INAUDIBLE] takes the critics of
the church so seriously that I have, jokingly, last week
when I was talking to a group of Knights of Malta– let me tell you,
Knights of Malta– I said, there’s a section of
[INAUDIBLE] that almost reads like take an atheist to lunch. And listen carefully to what
it is that she or he is saying. Not about how– why is it
that the message of God doesn’t get through? Rather than seeing this
person as hating God. Why is it that the message of
God is not getting through? What is the criticism? And the criticism, frequently,
of the church from an atheist is, I have the gospel
here, and I have you here. More precisely, I have the
gospel here and you here. So I think conversations with
people who have walked away from the church will help
us to understand that and be better evangelists in an
age that, let’s be honest, is hungry and frightened. And not just politically so. I wonder about the nones– N-O-N-E-S. Because that is
the second largest group in the country. And when you talk
about evangelization, and again, you look at the
messages coming from Rome on that, from the pope in
terms of the recent writings. But the reality of engaging
with some of those people who say that they’re there, and
the importance of that group to the life of the church
in this country, certainly. But the fact that it is
a group, and they’re now being recognized. They’re actually meeting with
other people called N-U-N-S. And so I think that is a
key area for evangelizing. How many articles do
we see about why I left the church, why I returned. Why I left the church
and stayed leaving it. And I think that is
the conversation that is happening on campuses and
perhaps in parishes as well. And that could
lead a clue to what we need to be doing right now. I have one last
word about something that is important that
sister brought up earlier. And I want to make it clear this
is not a nuns, N-U-N-S’ issue. Bill and I readily
acknowledged, and I suspect most of the men
and women of a certain age would acknowledge, that a large
part of the formative influence of the church that we had
was from the feminine side of the church. That is, say, from
religious women. Priests would say mass
and they would preach. Sometimes, they would
preach beautifully. Sometimes not so well. But my experience was nuns
taught spectacularly every day. And I mean that. We had great nuns in
my grammar school. And we had a balanced
experience of God working through his church. One of the challenges I
think the church has now is that not only are there
no women who are ordained, our young people don’t have the
experience of a balanced church where the women were
formidable and wise. I would say formation
agents in the faith, and in church, and in life. We just don’t have that now. And so I’m just
saying that the loss of religious life for
women in the United States creates almost an urgency
to look at what is the role, what must the role of
women be now, in new forms. Since that form,
which was canonically acknowledged as a
major part, a full, coordinated part of the
church, is no longer there. So I want to underscore that. It’s a very important
thing for us to realize. And not to not to engage the
question in a frightened way, or say, oh well,
doctrinally it’s– look. Our experience, and I
suspect your experience, and your experience was
growing up, very balanced. You had the nuns, and you had
the priest and the brothers. And it was a church
had credibility because both were involved. My name is William Leahy
when you report to the press and to the bishops. Thank you for Father McShane. So as our conversation
draws to a close, I just want to remind
everyone that we are mining these conversations for ideas. Our next magazine is
revitalizing our church. It’s going to go to
press the end of May. If this conversation was
a catalyst for an idea that you had, send it to us. [email protected] Also, we have two
more programs to come. One is April 29. And that’s actually ideas
from professors in the pews. It’s with Professor Kristen
Heyer, Professor Mike Pratt, who I see here. Wave, Mike. And Professor Kristen? Oh, there she is, in back. And Professor [INAUDIBLE]. Not only are they
grace in the classroom, but they are so committed
to their parishes. So that should be a
great conversation. And our last program
in the Easter series is ideas from lay
business leaders. And we’ll have Jack
Connors, Chuck [? Clou ?] and Denise Morrison with us. And that is on May 6. So mark your calendar. How can we ever
thank you for all that you have done
for the church and for Catholic
higher education? I mean, amazing. We pray for you. We pray for wisdom. We pray for your health. We pray for your
continued leadership, knowing how much we need you
and how much we value you. And thank you to
everyone that took the time to come out tonight,
because we all need each other. And we need our church. So thank you for coming. The video will be up on our
website in the next weeks. That’s And look forward
to seeing you soon. Take care. [APPLAUSE]

One Reply to “Revitalizing Our Church: Ideas From University Presidents”

  1. So hyped…

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