Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Halfway Through the Semester

We are halfway through the semester and all is going very well. The twelve students are doing fine in their work and their appropriation of the materials. We are having fun learning together. The trip to the Art Studios seemed to invigorate their desire to begin their final projects. The community that is being built is quite strong.

Last night, I was treated to an Omaha tenderloin steak. It was beyond compare - tender, succulent, pure, and cooked medium rare. Perfect. We enjoyed a relaxed evening immensely.

The other day I spoke to my father and put my foot in my mouth. I asked him about the location of his father's grave in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and he called me to tell me he was buried in Calumet. I explained that I may get there one day to visit, so I asked my grandfather's name. My father paused and was frustrated: John, he said.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wading in the Pool

Classes are going fine. In fact, they are quite fun. Creighton has a long history of attracting many men and women religious and very committed lay men and women. This place is almost like a mecca for advanced education for the Catholic Church in the Midwest.

Class was very spirited today and the students asked me to continue for an additional twenty minutes. I felt so bad. After class, I took the students to the Jocelyn Art Museum, which is a ten minute walk from campus. The religious sisters from Africa were so pleased to be in an art museum because they would not have thought to go on their own. They said, "We needed a break from sitting at our desks."

Everyone had a blast trying out the trinkets in the gift shop, but the real blessing occurred when I invited everyone to take off their shoes and wade into the fountain pond at the entrance to the museum. Once we did that, many other people took off their shoes. At first, the sisters resisted, but then we could not get them out of the water. The only way to do so was to assemble for a group photo. It was an enjoyable evening when we laughed and enjoyed some playful times - a nice respite from the coursework.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Creighton: Fireflies, statues, and the Kindest People

During the early evening, swarms of fireflies dot the campus of Creighton University. There are so many of them that it is almost a magical light show. It is especially nice to sit in the Jesuit Gardens and watch these fireflies light up the statues, especially the one of St. Clare, who is sprawled out on the ground.

The campus is blessed with many statues, especially religious ones in contemporary forms. I like the elongated ones of Moses and other humans. The Ignatian spirit is captured in this artwork. Omaha seems to be an Ignatian town. Many religious people pass through the campus and encounter some aspect of the Ignatian charism. It gives me great pride to know that a 16th century man is still influencing our world. In the hallways of several buildings, great Jesuit placards tell our story of reaching into each sphere of life and helping others to access Christ. It is very inspiring.

One challenge to me is the heat and humidity of the land. I usually try to get a walk in to get 12,000 steps, but I'm lucky if I get 10,000 because my feet are dragging. The air is just very heavy.

Another consoling aspect of being here is meeting the Jesuit community. Every man is extremely kind, and I like kind people. The hospitality is very warm and people simply have a smile in their eyes and on their face at the same time. It is wonderful. This complements that people who are part of the program who have the same exceeding graciousness. The genuineness is really deeply of God, and I'm grateful.