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Thursday, March 11, 2010

You Just Never Know

I'm often left wondering after Mass whether the words of my homily had any impact. Often, I just have to leave it up to God. But, every once in a while someone gives you a glimpse. That's why I was pleased to read this is in this week's Fordham student newspaper (Note: the "ram van" is the regular shuttle which ferries students and faculty back and forth between our Bronx and Manhattan campuses):

Two Sundays ago, I attended my first Mass at Fordham, the 9 p.m. service at the University Church. As a member of GO! Nashville, I participated in the commissioning ceremony preceding Sunday Mass. Attending church was not mandatory, but I tagged along with my teammates. The decision to join my friends was made out of proximity; I was already in the basement, so why not sit upstairs for an hour? I never avoided church due to religious reasons, but because of immature procrastination and laziness.

I carried into that church with me every misguided misconception that an ignorant Protestant could believe. I thought the communion wafer was nothing more than a revered Ritz cracker and the sign of the cross an adaptation of the Hand Jive.

My lack of Catholic upbringing was on display throughout Mass, as I fumbled over the wording of prayers and disrupted the harmony of the hymns. Later, Father Mossa declared that God is present at Fordham, “even on the Ram Van,” applying Jesuit teachings to everyday situations across campus. Following the sermon, he directed the blessing of the GO! Teams. As I turned around to confront my peers, I saw the faces of my friends, classmates, and professors. The church was filled with Fordham’s diverse community, looking at me, arms outstretched, supporting my impending trip to Nashville. That night was not about the epic saga of Catholics versus Protestants: it was about community.

I left the church without a religious epiphany but with an appreciation for the church I so vehemently evaded. The sanctuary of that church assembled the most diverse collection of students I have yet to find at Fordham, a sense of community absent in my Fordham experience to that point. While there is no impending Catholic conversion in my future, I certainly will be back this Sunday.

You can read the whole article here.