The academic village that is Thomas More College has once again convened for a new year, praying together for an outpouring of the fire of charity and the courage to pursue wisdom that only the gifts of the Holy Spirit can provide.
During the second week of classes, President William Fahey led the College faculty in their annual profession of Faith and oath of fidelity to the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, while a burgeoning crowd of students and families spilled out of the College chapel into the bright afternoon sun. The College’s Convocation with the solemn celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit by our chaplain Fr. John Healey brought to a fitting close the various rituals by which new students are welcomed to the community and returning ones are steeled for further progress in their studies.
In keeping with newly-established tradition, the entering class of 2014 and were welcomed on campus in late August, only to fly swiftly to the North Woods for the orientation retreat atop Pine Mountain. Citing the spirit of “adventure” and the challenge of climbing up into the clouds in order to gain the peak of Mount Washington, the freshmen are united in their fond memories of three days of hiking, fireside chats, Mass at Chapel Rock, and plenty of staring aloft at the splendors of the White Mountains.
The thirty entering students bring a 25% increase in the College’s overall enrollment, of whom some forty percent now hail from the six New England states, with the balance coming from twenty-three other states and two foreign countries. The College community has already noted the wonderful combination of earnestness and liveliness that marks the freshman class, whose high energy has already resulted in a flood of interest in intramural soccer, a theatrical production, and even a club devoted to fencing.
Also new on campus are two faculty members, Mr. Fred Fraser, teaching Latin and Greek, and Mrs. Sara Kitzinger, who is leading the sophomores through the Medieval period in their Humanities class and the Seniors in a course in Modern Political Theory while she puts the finishing touches on her dissertation in European History.
As summer fades into another lyrical New England autumn, the Thomas More College community prepares for the patient daily and weekly progress through its course of study and work, prayer and celebration, thankful that as daylight wanes and flowers fade, there is a springtime in the halls of our academy. May the Lord bless the work of our hands.