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Sept. 21, 2006 • Volume 15 Number 2

C21 Program Seeks to Promote Student Discussion

A new program from the Church in the 21st Century Center will offer Boston College undergraduates the chance to exchange thoughts on faith and spirituality, as well as mocha lattes and iced coffees.

Titled "Agape Latte," the series will take place in the Hillside Café, 21 Campanella Way, on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning Oct. 3 at 8:30 p.m. with a talk by Vice President and Special Assistant to the President Vice President William B. Neenan, SJ.

The goal of "Agape Latte" - "agape" is a Greek word traditionally used by Christians to mean love or charity - is to give students an opportunity to discuss questions of faith and spirituality with BC faculty and administrators in a relaxed, informal atmosphere, according to Church in the 21st Century Center Director Timothy Muldoon.

"We know that students find these topics very important, but they tend to talk about them amongst themselves," said Muldoon.

"Agape Latte" is based on a similar program instituted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago some 25 years ago, which offered young adult Catholics the chance to meet in restaurants, coffee houses or pubs and talk with a guest speaker about aspects of spirituality, faith and religion.

"We want students to know that this is something we take seriously at Boston College and we want them to enjoy thinking about these questions," said Muldoon. "This is not a classroom setting; it's meant to be exploratory in nature."

Highlighting the debut series event will be a talk by Fr. Neenan on symbols of the Catholic tradition and those of popular culture.

"Symbols are a rich part of the Catholic tradition, and popular culture has its own set of symbols," said Fr. Neenan, a popular campus figure and creator of the "Dean's List" of recommended readings [see story]. "We're going to start off with a slide show and I'll have some things to say."

Fr. Neenan said symbols representing the Angelus or the Rosary and icons such as the BC seal and the abbreviation "A.D." (short for the Latin phrase Anno Domini, "In the Year of the Lord") are all potential subjects for discussion.

Muldoon said Fr. Neenan was invited as the first speaker because his avuncular nature has made him instantly popular with BC students.

"Everybody knows Fr. Neenan, the students love him," said Muldoon.

"We think that there's going to be a lot of questions and answers and plenty of excitement," said Muldoon.

For more information about "Agape Latte" and the Church in the 21st Century, see the Web site www.bc.edu/church21. - Stephen Gawlik

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