day 16 welcome tradition

Good morning, Monks.

For today's post, I want to talk a little about this whole experience at Saint Joseph's College that you've immersed yourself in.

Most of you know, either with great specificity, or vaguely, that the College has been a part of Maine lore since 1912, both in Portland, at our Sebago campus, and online.  Before there was online, there was distance education.  Yup, we did that, too.

The history of the College, and the story you're a part of, calls us to persevere through even the most difficult of times.  The College has persisted through pandemics of the past (it's true), world wars, economic depressions, all forms of social unrest.  I know it's hard to see our way out when these themes were present in 1912, and still are today.

So this morning, I'm calling in some reinforcements.

For six years now, I've had the great pleasure of working across a parking lot from Sr. Mary George O'Toole, '51, RSM, Ph.D. (yes, as she reminds me, she's a "Sister, Doctor").  She's done a lot of different things at the College, and in Maine, over her tenure, too many to list for a Saturday morning post.  She's most recently served as our College Archivist, with an office in Saint Joe's Residence Hall, responsible for cataloging, preserving, and interpreting the College's historical impact.

Recently, I asked her about the College's legacy, and her thoughts on the College's evolution from its roots in Portland, to now.  Below are her remarks.  Enjoy.

I'll see some of you in less than two weeks!


"When we moved from Portland to this campus here, we had only 60 undergraduate women students.  Today we have thousands more men and women, both on-campus and online across the country, and world.  This is witness to Catherine Mcauley's belief, "Do not be afraid of  taking only small steps; they generally lead to great strides."

The students are all here to study, but this is no new venture, as they have already completed 12 years of study.  However, the next four years are the years preparing them for their place in the world.


The competition will be great.  So------Mother McAuley would remind them to do the ordinary task of studying extraordinarily well, and they likely will be presenting themselves steps above the competition!


No small feat!


Again, true education addresses the whole person---intellectually, emotionally, physically---in the rush and business of our days here at the College, sometimes we neglect to focus on the spiritual side of ourselves.  Jesus reminds us of this important facet of our being with the words:  'What does it profit a person to gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of their soul?'


So, step up and be counted among those who are quite mindful of educating the spiritual side of ourselves."

Matt Goodwin is the Dean of Students at Saint Joseph’s College.

Along with a team of brunch-loving Campus Life professionals in the areas of Student Engagement & Residential Living, Counseling Center, Health & Wellness Center, Campus Safety, and the Mercy Center, Campus Life supports students’ holistic personal development, learning, and empowerment in service to a global community.