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Message for June 20, 2024

I want to thank all the Young Professionals and Grad Students who helped create, for our Catholic Young Professionals Speed Dating, a lively turnout. 

That evening went well, despite (as you see) the necessarily interruptive but essential timing of each session.  Our photos show the Son et Lumiére of Jack determinedly ringing the bell in all directions for all to hear, Arthur insistently carrying signage up aisles and down tables for all to see.   That is, you can’t meet more people if you just stay stuck in one place!  

I realize some found the theory of the evening off-putting, but, like all of life, it depends on what you bring to it. There may have been an M.I.T. algorithm helping people’s requests fit them to others whom they thought themselves more suited, but the algorithm was not in charge (nor was M.I.T.) but they were.  We have what happens, then, what we make of it.  As Pope Francis pointed out on AI to the G7, it’s important that we remain in charge. 

While some found promising acquaintances who could soon become friends, perhaps, eventually, for life; others possibly did not. In either case, they were in charge. In both cases, they got out of the lab, out of the house, and out of the bowels of Widener to meet new people - which is the whole heart of the matter of making friends or finding mates. 

“If you want to meet people but always stay at home, the only people you will meet…are burglars!”  I realize we are always told to recycle, and that burglars are the premiére recyclers on the planet, but its good to meet people from other professions and ways of life too.  So, call it an evening of expanding horizons!

A less hectic way to do that of course is to come regularly to our monthly Graduate Student and Young Professionals Dinners on each First Thursday of the month. Myriad marriages have come from those over the years - as from the simple practice of chatting up people after Mass, just to become acquainted and to see how people are doing. 

We used to do Theology on Tap but the area restaurants had no good (independent) acoustic space:  one could not hear the speaker vs the din of patrons & waiters, china & silverware beyond the curtains.  And everyone was seated eating, stuck in tight quarters where they could never get up to mix and to meet. I do remember one couple of similar goals and trajectory that thus remained isolated from each other and almost from everyone by the above drawbacks.  Frustrated by seeing everyone caught in amber, I made a point of breaking the logjam and introduced them several times (him to her, twice, her to him, twice). I recently got word from Cambridge England that they’d named their second son George in thanks for having met.  We have to look out for others!  (Of course if he didn’t want to be named George, it’s not really my fault now, is it?  But at least he has parents!)

Think of the good you do by bringing others along each month to introduce them to other new people!  The grad dinners have been going since I got here but you create them anew every month.  And a further word to the wise:  lots of people are meeting via our Friday night Board Games.  Bring others along to that too, please!  After all, the way we get to Heaven is based on the number of people we have brought along!

And then:

Make it the hallmark of your life that you have also always invited acquaintances and associates to Mass.  

What better good to do than to introduce us all to our greatest friend forever, Our Blessed Lord!

May God Bless Each of You Always!

(I am returned in a week and owe each of you coffee or lunch or a walk in The Yard now re-opened!)

Father George Salzmann OSFS 

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