“Love and the Fordham Family”

Each year, in midst of the season of love, Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., the President of Fordham University, joins the Manresa community to share some personal insights and Jesuit values relevant to this theme of love. To kick off “Love Week” in Loyola Hall, shortly before Valentine’s Day, Fr. McShane visited Manresa for a special dinner-colloquium on the topic of “Love and the Fordham Family.” Almost all of the Scholars and staff were present for this unique and intimate interaction.

Fr. McShane presented his colloquium in two separate parts, showcasing his efforts to communicate with the students and his commitment to the values of the University. First, he went around the room and personally got to know every Scholar, asking of their name, hometown, and high school. This initiated additional conversation on his familiarity with their background, families, and goals, of course with some traditional presidential humor in the mix. Then, he led into a simple and enlightening conversation on the meaning and understanding of love as a Jesuit and at Fordham.

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Fr. McShane touched on the accepting nature of the University and the community presence that exists not only in our Ignatian Integrated Learning Community, but across campus as well, and beyond college life. He concluded the evening by thanking the students for their demonstration of love:

Thanks for giving your hearts to the place, because your hearts will make the heart of Fordham stronger, better, more sensitive, more resilient, more resolute in its commitments.

Ultimately, this signature dinner-colloquium is a unique addition to the Shared Expectations model, to which the Manresa community looks forward each year.

Check out our highlights video from from Fr. McShane’s talk!

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A Last Lecture from Manresa Faculty

As the year comes to a close, Manresa faculty gathered to give their students some parting words of wisdom in a “Last Lecture” dinner-colloquium. Faculty were asked to give a brief lecture as if it were the last lecture they were to ever give, offering advice and life lessons to the Manresa Scholars.

The lectures were thoughtful, inspiring, and touching, with each professor speaking on items most important to his or her life and career.

Following the lectures, students had the opportunity to ask rapid-fire questions ranging from favorite book to best restaurant on Arthur Avenue.

The Last Lecture was a personal end to this year’s dinner-colloquium series.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2016-2017

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(L-R) Profs. Parmach, Nasuti, and Annunziato

 

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Prof. Parmach delivers his Manresa Last Lecture.

 

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(L-R) Profs. Annunziato and Shen

Fr. McShane: Love and the Fordham Family

“Love is a transitive verb. You have to experience it.” This was Father McShane’s message to students when he spoke with the Manresa community over dinner on Friday evening.

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Photo by Zach Asato

St. Ignatius once said love is shown more in deeds than in words. You have to show love in ways that really touch others. A very special part of the evening was when Fr. McShane went around the room to spend a minute speaking individually with each Scholar, learning his or her name and hometown. For each person, he found a connection. Whether he knew their high school, their parents who were Fordham graduates, or other students from their home, there was a unique Jesuit connection between the Manresa Scholars and Fordham’s President.

A sense of family and interconnection is embedded into life at Fordham. Fr. McShane took a minute to touch upon current events, noting that Fordham is an institution founded on and for immigrants. He asked students when their families came to the United States. For some, their families have been here for generations. For others, they or their parents were the first to come to America. However, Fr. McShane emphasized the fact that everyone knows the story of his or her family. And in this way, we are all immigrants. Then, he reminded students of the story of our Fordham Family, which began in 1841 when John Hughes founded Fordham University.

This intimate conversation with Fordham’s President is truly a highlight of the Manresa experience.

Anja Asato, FCRH 2018
Marketing and Programming Fellow, 2016-2017

Reflecting on an Ethical Dilemma

Fordham’s President, Fr. McShane, says that Fordham students are bothered by the world around them. Manresa Scholars share this trait, and are challenged to question their beliefs and the world around them, struggling with ethical and moral dilemmas. Manresa Scholar Emma Budd, who took “Representations of China & the West” as her Manresa Seminar, shares how a Reflecting program offered in collaboration with Fordham’s Campus Ministry helped her to resolve an ethical dilemma.


Among the Manresa programs that I attended this semester, I can definitively say that Dean Parmach and Fr. Lito’s “Unpacking the Millenial Digitized Mind” colloquium ethically bothered me the most. This colloquium was centered on the concept of the millennial generation – what we are known for, both the good and the bad. Millennials are commonly recognized as lazy, technology-obsessed, and self-absorbed. I attended this colloquium expecting it to assert those very ideas – that as a generation, we need to improve ourselves. Although I do not entirely disagree with the conclusion that my generation is more self-absorbed than some of our predecessors’, I think it is incredibly unfair for other generations to assume that nothing good can come of us.

Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when Fr. Lito addressed the positive attributes of the millennial generation by stating that we have logged far more volunteer hours than other generations, showing that millennials have a prominent interest in charity work. Hearing this was refreshing, and I was excited about it until my peer raised her hand and brought up the following point: millennials may be logging more volunteer hours simply because we need them now more than ever for the college application process.

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Manresa Scholars clean up Bartow-Pell Park in the Bronx as part of a fall service project.

This point brought up the question of whether or not anything we do can truly be considered selfless. This is an ethical dilemma with which I have struggled in the past, and considering it in the context of my generation only heightened my worries that perhaps I did not enjoy helping people as much as I thought I did. I turned this thought over in my head for the remainder of the colloquium, and came to the conclusion that although volunteering did add to my resume, I do love helping people. I also decided that from now on, I should take the time to consider why I choose to help others before doing so.

If anything, this colloquium served to make me more aware of the ethics behind the choices I make when it comes to helping others.


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