Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends of Fordham,
As in Rodger and Hammerstein’s Carousel, spring is “bustin’ out all over” here in New York. The arrival of warm weather is greeted like the welcoming home of a long-lost friend. Thousands of bicyclists toured the five boroughs on a balmy, sunny Sunday in early May. Thousands are now visiting Central Park to check on a variety of flowers’ first arrivals. The Yankees just swept Boston, and the barometer of peoples’ feeling good spirit is rising.
Transition and transformation characterize this time of year. It’s the time of Easter springtime, of renewed hope in life and risen life, of newly baptized and newly ordained, of First Holy Communion and June weddings, of end-of-academic-year events and celebrations. At Fordham, preparations for the 2015 commencement are well underway. Yes, students will now graduate—taking another step in their lives and taking with them what they have learned and what they have become. Hopefully, their lives have been transformed for their own good and the good of the world.
This year saw the publication of a new booklet, a sort of student handbook full of words of welcome and words of expectation. Let me share the concluding paragraphs of The Jesuit Way with you:
“Finally, Jesuit education strongly encourages your ‘finding God in all things.’ This principle arises from the world-affirming perspective given to us by Ignatius who believed that every aspect of human life was a portal through which an individual could be drawn into a deeper, more affective and experiential relationship with God.
Jesuit schools are fitting places to help us find God in all things. Students take a variety of courses in different disciplines. Here, we can find God’s fingerprints in all that we study. For example, because God is found in the natural world around us, we study biology, chemistry and physics. Because God is found in our humanity, we study the works and ideas of women and men across the ages. We revel in the beauty of fine art and literature, we ask questions fundamental to the human person in philosophy and theology, and we see the best and worst of human nature in history. Always a very practical man, Ignatius would no doubt agree that we can also find God in our business courses, in the innovation that leads to progress and in whatever promotes genuine human community and economic justice.
In particular, the sense of wonder that comes with new discovery and the excitement of creative innovation provide especially potent moments during which we can come to know God more fully. In these moments, you are invited to recognize how God becomes present to you and experience how you are transformed in the process.”
Let’s pray that our transformed students, now transitioning into becoming alumni, go forth to set the world on fire with their love and compassion, their sense of right, and their commitment to justice.
Wishing you peace, good health, and a grace-filled summer,
Dan Gatti, SJ, JES ’65, GSE ’66