The Importance of Family : Personal and Institutional

“As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live”

– Blessed Pope John Paul II

Much can be said about the importance of ‘family’.  Many, it seems are quick to acknowledge the positive influence drawn from their own personal experience within a family.  Plainly, much of the successes individuals have accomplished throughout their lives, while certainly indicative of a personal initiative, very well may not have been possible without the personal support, development, and community found within one’s personal ‘family’.

Yet, perhaps there can be a different forms of ‘family’ – or rather, communities other than just immediate families that are nevertheless bound by similar principles as immediate families.  Binding principles that come to mind may include common values, motivations, and understandings of the importance of the individual’s relationship with the community in which they are an integral part.

As Student Affairs professionals in a community driven by a unique mission and purpose (particularly here at Boston College in a community defined by its Eucharistic principles), perhaps we are bound in a familial way in our role as administrators by a common mission, a commitment to personal and professional development.  In the least, if indeed a family is that which provides support in individual development that otherwise be impossible, it seems as though both the role of the Boston College professional ‘family’/community as a whole and our place within it might be a fruitful source of reflection.   Perhaps there is much professional development to be gained through this ‘Boston College family’ that would otherwise be impossible.  It is in this way that we might realize our dependence on others, and others’ dependence on us!  Whether it is immediate personal family or a broader ‘family’ through a common community, what humility it requires for individuals to recognize their dependence on others for their own sake!

To this end, on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 12pm, Ernest Collamati, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Regis College will present a lecture on ‘The Eucharist: The Center of Family Life’ in the O’Neill Library Reserves Room.  This lecture is sponsored by Boston College’s Church in the 21st Century (and is a continuing component of this semester’s Eucharistic theme) and the Office of Employee Development.

It is a striking paradox of Christian principle: in the realization of one’s own personal limits by virtue of his/her individuality, one is drawn into a community brought together precisely by this realization and through this community, transcends those individual limitations.  Perhaps it is in this way that at this Catholic institution, we as professionals are brought into, and are constituents of the ‘Body of Christ’!

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