Old, sad graduating faith editor reflects on Aquinas

Published: May 5, 2016

Refelction By
Faith Editor Emeritus

At the conclusion of my first year at The University, I was approached in line for dinner by someone on the staff who said “Hey, the Aquinas needs someone to take over the Faith section. Do you want to?” I probably nodded and smiled, oblivious to the journey I was about to undertake.

I consider my time as the Faith editor of the Aquinas an incredible blessing. Obviously, it has given me the opportunity to forge relationships with three incredible editorial staffs over three years and a chance to watch the paper change each time. In addition, it has opened my eyes to an entire spiritual dimension of The University that would have remained invisible to me otherwise.

The religious and spiritual demographics of The University look a bit different every year, and I have been fortunate enough to witness an increase in interreligious dialogue on campus.

Cultural discussions during Schemel Forums as well as speakers who address individual experiences respond to a need for diversity—and openness to diversity—on this campus.

The meaning of faith in a changing, growing society has come into question both at The University and in this section. Birth control, LGBTQ+ rights, Islamophobia and feminism are just some of the multifarious issues that have fallen under the scope of faith and spirituality.

The Same Love, Same God retreat, for example, broke the silence regarding how a Catholic University can disavow bigotry and encourage students to forge relationships with God regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In addition, The University has held several discussions about women’s roles in the Catholic Church and how they may progress over time.

Particularly at a Jesuit university, faith and social justice should remain in conversation with each other. Students at The University care about making the world a home for all its people. On a nearly weekly basis, I am humbled by the service that I have the unique blessing of highlighting in the section.

The University’s recent response to the global refugee crisis exemplifies this dedication to service. Students, in particular, have been eager not only to serve, but also to discuss what that service means and encourage others to join them.

It is my sincere hope that, in my years on the staff, the Faith section has become a place where people could both freely express their relationships with religion and their spiritual experiences, as well as a place to look and find personal traditions reflected.

The single most important responsibility of any faith-based publication, in my opinion, is to foster honest and open dialogue that respects differences and questions without dividing readers. It is my sincere hope that, in the future, the section will continue to provide a venue for discussion and push the limits of interreligious and cultural dialogue even further.

It has sincerely been a joy, a gift and a blessing to serve this newspaper and this University.

Contact the writer: cailin.potami@scranton.edu

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