26 April 2010

Catch Up Post

Sorry folks for being so lame a blogger. It has been quite a week. Here is a wrap up:

First I want to share something that will sound very boring to you all but is very exciting to me. We had our first "Leadership Council" meeting last week. This is more or less an advisory board for Vanderbilt Catholic. As one of the students said, "a grown up board" in contrast to our student board. I was extremely happy with the outcome. Despite the appearance that Vanderbilt Catholic is a substantial organization, it really isn't in literal terms of structure and finance. Despite the on-fire student leadership and the impressive facilities of Frassati House, I basically have to worry about keeping the lights on. I sometimes wish that we had dumpy quarters because people take one look at Frassati House and think "rich" or that we had less successful programs because their success implies some sort of organizational wherewithal. Indeed we do suffer a genteel poverty! The necessity of being a beggar is the only thing about this assignment that is a struggle for me. For some time I have needed to organize outside help for the chaplaincy, but I am organizationally impaired. I can't organize a two-car funeral procession. Last week, I finally did it. I was able to get together a few people with the desire and means to help Vanderbilt Catholic. It makes me feel better! So please pray for the effectiveness of the new Vanderbilt Catholic Leadership Council.

The saga of the CNN.com story continues to unfold. It was picked up by the Huffington Post, the Drudge Report, etc. It also caused quite a stir on campus. Again, my main concern was for the welfare of the student. Here I should have had no worries. She has handled things so well, including a column in the Vanderbilt paper on Friday. But she has come in for a lot of unwanted attention. What she has done is simply to speak the truth. We were not made to get drunk and "hook up." She said that she used to do that. Now she doesn't. She is better for the decision. This way of life is the predominant student culture here at Vanderbilt, embedded in the Greek system, and at colleges generally. Everybody knows that it is true and knows that it is demeaning to human dignity. This student pointed out that the Emperor of the Predominant Culture has no clothes on. Fortunately there is a radical sub-culture that embraces the Gospel of Life and it's incarnation in the Theology of the Body. The original CNN article had discovered this counter-culture and was intrigued by it. It is intriguing. It is what I work with all the time. I feel like a revolutionary!

Finally, I had the opportunity to visit the University of Notre Dame du Lac this weekend to preside at a wedding in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart there on campus. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I can certainly understand how people become so devoted to the place. Although it certainly has it's struggles and faults, it is a place that does not buy into the dominant culture. It is in it but not of it. Good for Notre Dame. I may share some more thoughts about this in the days to come...

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