Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Father Schall's last lecture.

I recently took note of Father James Schall's retirement from teaching and his farewell lecture at Georgetown, about which you can learn more courtesy of this report from the Georgetown Voice. Today, I'm pleased to report that the complete lecture is now online for the benefit of people like me who could not attend even though we would have liked to have been there. I've embedded the video above for the benefit of readers who may be interested in hearing what Father Schall had to say; preceded by introductions by a colleague and a former student, Schall's actual remarks begin around the fourteen-minute mark.

For another report on Father Schall's last lecture, take a look at this article from the National Catholic Register, which also includes a brief interview with Father Schall featuring this salient exchange:
REGISTER: How do the roles of a priest and a teacher fit together? Does being a Jesuit have anything to do with it?

SCHALL: At least one of the purposes of the Society of Jesus was to combine the priest and teacher into one person. A priest simply knows things that a teacher is not likely to know. To teach is also one of the duties of the priest. St. Paul said that teaching is one of the possible manifestations of the variety within the Church. To teach is to make present to another what is true and how to see it by himself. Teachers do not own knowledge. It is free.

One of my best essays was entitled “What a Student Owes His Teacher.” Both teacher and student pursue the same thing: the truth itself. If they do not, both are lost.
The above passage offers a pithy encapsulation of my own reason for entering the Society of Jesus: I liked the idea of being a priest and a teacher, and many Jesuits are both. I also like what Father Schall has to say in "What a Student Owes His Teacher," an essay that you can read online here. Though I'm still sorry to see Father Schall leave the classroom, I'm consoled by the realization that he will continue to teach through his writings and (hopefully for a long time to come) through the good example of his life. AMDG.


Post a Comment

<< Home