Saturday evening we attended a benefit dinner for the Educational Foundation of the College of Saints Peter and Paul. Kevin and I hosted the registration table. We had the privilege of meeting some brilliant, faithful Catholic leaders in our community.
Teresa Tomeo , just back from the March for Life in Washington, was the master of ceremonies. As always her stories were entertaining, hard hitting and encouraging.
His Excellency, Bishop John Quinn was our keynote speaker. He told us about his own experience in a small Catholic, liberal arts college, and how his college class still gets together, still retains the faith, and are good men in all walks of life. When they get together, they say to each other, "Weren't we lucky!" because of the formation they had in their college years. He pointed out that the college years are the last years of formation before heading out into the world.
Father Ed Fride gave the final talk, exhorting donors to be as generous as possible in this worthy endeavor. He shared his own stories of his continuing education in theology and philosophy and how exciting it is to be educated in an integrated curriculum. He said that his parish is so filled with Ph.D's in theology and philosophy and other great Catholic leaders that in order to have anything to offer them, he has to work diligently to stay in the game.
When the event was over and small groups were standing around talking, Fr. Ed shared a couple of funny stories. Fr. Ed and Mother Teresa were at the same location, a retreat or something, for a week. Father was praying in the chapel when Mother came in and knelt down beside him asking if she could share his breviary as she had left hers back in her room. Father said he became so flustered that he dropped the breviary and when he picked it up he had it upside down and couldn't find the right page again. Mother just smiled, took it from him and got it to the correct spot.
Another time Father was about to pray Mass at a small rural parish. He was pretty sure he could wow them with a brilliant homily. Just before Mass began, in walks a group of Missionaries of Charity nuns. He thought, now what am I going to teach them about God that they don't already know. These nuns are so well formed in theology and so holy, that they probably have forgotten more about God than I ever knew?!
We so grateful that these great leaders support the college. Please pray for the future of the College of Saints Peter and Paul. What a blessing it will be to have a Catholic, liberal arts college in our state!