“The Emmitsburg school was founded not by a wealthy industrialist but by a fugitive priest on the run from a war on the Church.” – John Singleton in The Meaning of Mount St. Mary’s
Mount St. Mary’s is a gift. She is a gift to us—the students, laborers, and scholars who gather at the base of her mountain. But she is also a gift to everyone else.
As is argued in these pages, the Mount is the mother of Catholic education in America. For over 200 years her priests have ministered to a nation. Rarely are her fruits forsaken to feed the pride and prestige of the institution. Instead, the sons and daughters of the Mount humbly carry out the work of God in service to their communities.
I welcome all those joining us on Mary’s Mountain for the first time this fall. Know you are now part of a centuries old story—what Singleton understands to be the “story of Christ and his Saints.” Already I’m sure you’ve heard our signature mantra many times: “Lead Lives of Significance.” In this issue, editor Jack Daly invites us to take this statement seriously as a call to fulfill our nature as persons.
Yet undoubtedly there will be moments where your time at the Mount feels like little more than an exchange of time and cash for a degree of your choosing. In view of the long arc of history you may not feel significant; we often don’t consider the present as part of history. Despite this, I ask in the spirit of the Feast of All Saints that you look to all those men and woman of God whose spiritual warfare was more often than not waged daily, in little ways over a lifetime. Indeed, in this issue Sebastian Flemings reflects on the reality of the spiritual conflict always happening all around us.
Perhaps there is no better example of such humble spiritual warfare than Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Thanks to Don Briggs, this issue includes the intimate spiritual journal of a man seeking to follow in her footsteps.
I am now a senior. For the foreseeable future this year will be my last spent on these hallowed grounds. Amid a transitional stage of life, I have been forced to wrestle with the radical act of accepting God’s providence. Let us find solace in the recognition that His plan for history was always meant to work through our sins and the sins of others. And let us trust that at the end of the long night of our own creation there awaits a Child in a manger.
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-33).