Here's a lovely piece in The Boston Globe about Dan Kennedy, a bright young man just graduated from Boston College, who is entering the Jesuit novitiate this summer. The profile gets pretty much everything right about its topic and avoids all the linguistic pitfalls that bedevil most pieces about religious life (including the the most common: confusing a "novice" with a "novitiate," conflating the end of formation with ordination, and trading in cheesy puns). Most of all, it's an inspiring look at an inspiring young man, as, in my opinion, are all the young Jesuits in formation.
NEWTON - Dan Kennedy will graduate from Boston College on Monday, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and the recipient of the school’s most prestigious prize, the Edward H. Finnegan Award.
Winners of the Finnegan, given to the student who best exemplifies the BC motto, “ever to excel,’’ tend to go big - top grad schools, Wall Street, overseas fellowships. Kennedy is planning to give away his computer, recycle his Blackberry, and move to a modest communal house in St. Paul, Minn.
He will get $75 a month for incidentals. He will have no romantic relationships. He will go where his superiors ask him to go, and do what they ask him to do. If all goes well, Kennedy - “Dan-o’’ to his friends - can hope to be ordained a Jesuit priest in 2023.
Entering a religious order straight out of college is rare these days, particularly for a standout student at an elite school. One or two graduating BC seniors enter seminary each year, but never in recent memory has a Finnegan winner done so.
“Um, I could never see Dan-o on Wall Street,’’ Shannon Griesser, a junior, said, laughing. “I’ve never met such a kind human being, to the core.’’