Friday, September 05, 2008

Reading, writing and discerning.

A lot more people than usual visited this blog this week, in large part because my post on Cardinal Dulles' 90th birthday was picked up by Whispers in the Loggia and subsequently also received mention on Ignatius Press' Insight Scoop blog (which mistakenly titles me "Fr."; perhaps I should supplement my online bio with a line like "God willing, I will be ordained a priest in 2015" or words to that effect). I hope that some of the first-timers who stopped by this week liked enough of what they saw that they will become regular readers of this blog. If you happen to be one of these readers, know that you're always welcome and please don't hesitate to make your opinions known in the comment box.

This week also saw the start of what promises to be a very busy academic year at Fordham. Each of the three philosophy courses I'm taking this semester will be fairly intensive, requiring regular written assignments as well as substantial reading; rounding out my academic schedule, I'll probably be taking another graduate course in theology and may do some kind of tutorial in history. In my capacity as house librarian, I have a few major projects that I'd like to complete over the course of the year in an effort to make the library collection more useful to Ciszek Hall residents and to preserve some important archival materials that have been gathering dust in our cellar for the past few decades.

Since this is my final year in First Studies, I'll also be spending a lot of time over the next few months preparing for regency, the next stage in my formation as a Jesuit. Sandwiched between periods of full-time study in philosophy and theology, regency is a three-year break from studies in which young Jesuits work do full-time apostolic work - usually teaching or other ministry at a Jesuit high school or university. For a young Jesuit completing First Studies, the process of preparation for regency involves personal prayer and reflection as well as dialogue with the director of formation (who helps each man identify potential regency placements) and the provincial (who ultimately decides where the young Jesuit will actually go for regency). Carried out within a context of prayer and discernment, this process also includes some of the elements common to most job searches - preparing resumes, requesting transcripts, scheduling interviews and so on. The whole process can take the better part of a year, meaning that I probably won't be completely certain where I'll be going for regency until the spring.

Guided by a concern for confidentiality and a sense of discretion, I do not plan to write much about my preparation for regency on this blog. In fact, I probably won't mention the process again in this space until I've received a definite regency assignment from my provincial. In the meantime, though, I ask for your prayers for me, my brother scholastics, and our superiors as we go through this process of dialogue and discernment. At the same time, I offer my prayers for all students and for others for whom these days represent a time of transition. AMDG.


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