Here is an email that I sent to the student board, FOCUS team, etc:
Dear Vandy Catholic Team!
Happy New Year! A few of us here in Nashville saw in the New Year and celebrated the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God with a simple holy hour and then Mass at midnight. We prayed during the holy hour in thanksgiving for the blessings of the past year and made petition for the graces that we will need for the coming year.
It was a wild and stormy night, with all kinds of strange noises and sirens outside. But in the oratory, all was peaceful. What an image for Vandy Catholic! I really believe that our community is a refuge of love and worship. I keep being prompted in my prayer to ask how we can invite more souls into that refuge. How can we be icons of the God who so loves the world, like the print above the mantle in the chapel? I want Vandy Catholic to be like the painting in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (for those of you who have seen it -- many of you with me!) that really was what it represented and drew Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace into that reality.
Here are some of my thoughts. Please do not take them as "gospel." And please do let me know what God is showing you. Let's share with one another the good "resolutions, inspirations, and affections" that God in communicating to us in our prayer.
Prayer -- we need to pray so that, like Mary, Jesus grows within us before He is revealed externally. In particular, we need to pray for those we are to encounter on campus.
Knowledge -- we need to know the Lord, who is Truth so that we do not have to answer that we do not know...Him.
Virtue & Communion -- we need to grow in holiness and solidarity so as to be an attractive (literally) alternative to the "atomistic" existence that so many experience.
Zeal -- we need to make known the transforming love of Jesus.
There are lots of practical ideas to put into action, but let's get the first things first! Charity! Now let the ideas and plans begin from the inside out.
Faithfully, Fr. Baker