What It Means to Be 'A Man for Others'

Finnegan Award

What It Means to Be 'A Man for Others'

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

His college years brought Rev. Darrell Goodwin '03 face-to-face with the poorest people in some of the world's poorest countries. Those four years as an undergraduate also took him to Dorchester and Cambridge, where he ministered to the sick, the incarcerated and the lonely.

Rev. Darrell Goodwin
Photo by Lee Pellegrini
His time at Boston College is over now, but Rev. Goodwin, an ordained Pentecostal minister who began preaching at age 15, says he continues to ask himself the fundamental question on which his Jesuit education has been centered: What does it mean to serve others?

"I am in love with that question," said Rev. Goodwin, recipient of Boston College's top Commencement honor, the Edward H. Finnegan, SJ, Memorial Award, as the graduating senior who best exemplified the University's motto "Ever to Excel."

Rev. Goodwin has been able to explore the question in a variety of ways, including this past spring when he served as a student leader on a Campus Ministry visit to Mother Teresa's Home for the Dying in Haiti.

At one point during the visit some of the Boston College students were asked to apply a special balm on the skin of dying patients. The experience was awkward and uncomfortable at first, recalled Goodwin.

"But when I realized that this was what it meant to truly serve another person, it wasn't so difficult.

"That was when I realized most what it meant to be 'a man for others,' said Rev. Goodwin.

Rev. Goodwin, who majored in human development and theology as a Lynch School of Education undergraduate, will begin work next month on a master's degree in higher education administration at the University of Vermont. Initially torn between pursuing a career as a therapist or a student affairs professional, Rev. Goodwin says a discussion with Prof. John Dacey (LSOE) helped him resolve the dilemma.

"He told me that working in student affairs is a little like being a therapist for an entire student body," said Rev. Goodwin. "I liked that."

His path to graduation day took Rev. Goodwin to the corners of the globe, first as part of a Campus Ministry immersion program to Nicaragua, then to Mozambique last summer where he worked as a teacher at a parish run by Jesuits.

"Through my entire life I'd always wanted to travel to Africa and was happy to have the opportunity," said Rev. Goodwin.

He recalled being surprised at the enthusiasm of the people in Beira, the city in central Mozambique, where he and eight other BC students worked in a program organized through Campus Ministry.

"When we arrived they announced on the radio, 'The Americans are here, they will teach us English,'" said Rev. Goodwin with a laugh.

He estimates that the nine Boston College students gave English lessons to some 700 people over the course of two months.

Rev. Goodwin also spent his time at Boston College in service to parishes in Dorchester and Cambridge. Through an internship organized through the Intersections program, Rev. Goodwin assisted the churches' pastors in all their duties, including visits to the poor and home-bound, ministering to sick people in hospitals, visiting prisoners and preparing for worship services.

"I'd like to have my own church some day," said Rev. Goodwin, "and I'd like for it to be an eclectic church - drawing from the Pentecostal and Jesuit traditions.

"My experiences here at have not been only academic, I've had a spiritual education and a social education," he said. "I have been educated as a whole person and I'm grateful for that."


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