Attending the March 2 event were program chair Tommy Borah '18, juniors Faye Hubregsen and Martha Veroneau, Fr. Mark Massa, S.J., Adelene Egan '18, Greg Gaillardetz '19, and MaryEllen Krah '17. (Photo by Gary Wayne Gilbert)
Diversity and race on campus. Students’ busy schedules. Accessibility to faculty. Those were just a few of the topics discussed during a recent "Lunches with Jesuits" event, one of a series sponsored by the Ignatian Society of Boston College and hosted by BC’s Jesuit Community.
Each lunch—they are held four or five times a month in the Jesuit residence at St. Mary’s Hall—brings together four to six undergraduates, one member of the program’s committee and one member of the Jesuit Community.
“It’s not just a meal,” says Vice President and University Secretary Terrence Devino, S.J., who oversees Ignatian Society programs as director of Manresa House. “It’s an opportunity to come in and experience the hospitality of the place that is permeated by our spirit.”
“Lunches with Jesuits” allows members of the Jesuit community to display their cordiality towards BC undergraduates, explains Fr. Devino. “If your mom invited one of your friends in for supper, she wasn’t doing it to enhance her status on the street. She did it from the largesse of her heart. So too with us: It’s because of our mission that we’re caring and hospitable men.”
Echoing Fr. Devino’s sentiments is Tommy Borah ’18 who, as chair for “Lunches with Jesuits,” is thrilled with the program’s popularity—the lunches are completely booked for the remainder of the semester, he notes. “I think it’s important to have mentors, especially Jesuit mentors. We go to a Jesuit college, so if you’re not interacting with the Jesuits, I don’t think [BC’s] mission can be played out.”
School of Theology and Ministry Dean Mark S. Massa, S.J., hosted the March 2 lunch, prior to which he led a tour of St. Mary’s. Laughs, jokes, smiles, and reflections on BC occupied the first half of the discussion, but after the second helping of food, Fr. Massa asked about more serious topics and opened the floor up to the students. An open, candid dialogue followed.
“I think it’s essential in the Jesuit mission to get to know your students,” said Fr. Massa afterward. “Ignatius said the thing that should distinguish us as teachers is that the Jesuits love their students and really care and know about them outside of the classroom, ['Lunches with Jesuits'] is one of the ways to get to know them outside of that context.”
The students in attendance, including juniors MaryEllen Krah and Faye Hubregsen and freshman Greg Gaillardetz, agreed that the program provided a welcome opportunity to meet other undergraduate students and a member of the Jesuit community they might not otherwise encounter. Martha Veroneau ’17 said the lunch affirmed for her how lucky she is to go to a Jesuit University.
“It’s a good reminder of how available and concerned the Jesuits are about our well-being and experience at BC,” added sophomore Adelene Egan.
To learn more about “Lunches with Jesuits” or other Ignatian Society activities, visit the Ignatian Society of Boston College website.
By Siobhan Sullivan | News & Public Affairs