Welcome Back Aquinas Community!
It has been a short but eventful summer. It seems just like yesterday that we parted for points home and to new adventures, now we are heading back to the hallowed halls of Princeton University once more. Welcome to your faith-community at Princeton, The Aquinas Institute.
I want to welcome in a very special way our new students, the Class of 2021! It is a joy to have you on campus and we are looking forward to meeting each and every one of you. And to our returning students, we missed you and are thrilled to have you home again!
Personally, the summer was a blessing and a challenge. It was a blessing as we welcomed Evangelical Catholic to the Aquinas Institute. Josh Dart, our point-person, arrived this month and spent a few days learning about our community and beginning the process of introducing us to their program. For those unaware of Evangelical Catholic, it is a movement by which students are mentored by other students as they seek a richer and more meaningful encounter with Jesus. The New Evangelization called for by Saint John Paul II and Popes Benedict and Francis asks that we all become vehicles of evangelization. It simply means we reach out. Sometimes the reaching out needs some coaching and encouragement and that is just what Evangelical Catholic through their alliance with us will do.
Josh and two other members of Evangelical Catholic will be returning toward the end of September to continue the training and have one-on-one sessions with those students who have already agreed to be part of this first wave of enthusiasm for evangelization. Let us all pray that the Holy Spirit enflame our community with joy, peace and hope as we seek to fulfill the Lord Jesus’ mandate to go forth and make disciples.
The challenge for me was that my Mom of nearly ninety years was in a serious automobile accident. It now means that she is more dependent upon me than before. With God’s help I will make sure she is well taken care of and that she does not feel the pressure of having lost her independence. The car was totaled but she is tough, walked away with a few scratches. I thank God every day for this miracle.
I am fired up to see you all, to meet, pray, share and give glory to the Lord! It will be a blessed year. We are saying good bye to some old friends. Fr. Marty Miller has been transferred by his community Opus Dei to Washington, D.C. He will return sometime in September to bid us all good bye. We promise to pray for Father Marty as he begins his new ministry and do so gratefully for all that he has meant to us.
Father Dan Gowan, Parochial Vicar at Saint Paul’s Church here in Princeton has also been transferred. He had assisted me on many occasions helping with our liturgical celebrations. We will miss him greatly and will keep him in our prayers.
Here’s a project challenge. Think about an exhibit at Aquinas focusing on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter, “Laudato SI.” Maybe it could feature student photography, poetry, art, music, all expressing our gratitude for God’s gift of nature and the beauty of creation, if interested in the project, see me about it in the next few weeks. It would be done between Thanksgiving and Christmas for a week and be open to the Princeton Community and beyond. It would be an invitation to be thankful and to give praise to God!
Welcome back! As you can see, I am thrilled to be here. Stephany is ready to get started, please connect with her relative to scheduling at Aquinas and what you believe you will need for the academic year ahead. Check out all the ministries and events as they will appear on this site.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, gift of abundant love bestowed upon us by your loving Father, assist us in our life in and through you. Give us the courage to be ecstatically in love with you, on fire with the desire to love you and to share our love for you with others. Give us the confidence to use your Holy name with abandon, to put your name ever upon our tongues in words of encouragement to others, in words of praise for your life in us and in words of thanksgiving for all that you have done for us, your healing, your mercy and your unconditional love. Bless this new academic year and allow it to be a time to encounter you on the campus of Princeton University. Amen.