Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Last Exam!

Congrats to my students, finishing boldly and well another year at OLSWA. Our school works them harder, harder than the school where I did my undergrads, and they fight the good fight.

I'm not the most emotionally well-integrated person in the world, but as I sit here proctoring their last exam, I am facing a classroom full of some of the finest young people I have ever known. In particular are my thoughts on a young lady who just told me that she has been accepted into a religious congregation. This student has been the moral heart of the school for the whole time she has been here, without knowing it, in her very quiet way. Her departure will be palpably felt. My thoughts are likewise drawn to our first British student, a student who has been a real pleasure to me. She has been a butt of my jokes for the last two years, and she always took it in good stride, was always hard working and positive. I shall miss her dearly. I guess it's that she from G.B. that makes her departure that much more obvious to me, although I think that for more than a few of these students I shall never see them again until we are united in the next life, pray God.

If you've never had a place like OLSWA in your life you won't know what graduation time means.

A Few Coincidences

Having researched Augustine for over a decade now you'd think I would have made this connection a long time ago. It was actually made two days ago. My father and St. Augustine were born on the same day - November 15th.

The first grave I ever dug (mentioned the other day in a post) was for a man who used to own my house!

Thoughts on Dying

From the day we were born we began the process of dying.

Death is all around, and has been visiting me in some small ways recently. I mentioned the grave I helped to dig. It got me thinking about the phenomenon of human death-coping. I find it strange. I find it strange how people experience the death of those around them. The most superficial people (or perhaps those we think superficial) seem to react the most bizarrely. Perhaps it is the only thing that serves to disturb their materialism. They are nervous, uncomfortable, suddenly superstitious.


  1. I actually find it very comforting to live in our small town where death is really all around us. Growing up in a largish city with absolutely no extended family around left me very ufamiliar with death. My first wake was at the age of 20 and, since I've met Dave, our funeral going has swung into high gear:) Dave, on the other hand, grew up surrounded by the processes of life: weddings, births, wakes and funerals. I find that his family has a far more refreshing attitude toward the natural process of dying than does mine. I hope to be more like his.

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  3. That's precisely the problem: death has become foreign to us. Having my office over-looking St. Hedwig's, and seeing all the funerals week after week, I have the feeling that some of the old people in this town must go to a funeral almost every other week.
    When I became Catholic that's one of the things I noticed is that Catholics have a very different approach to death from Protestants. I wouldn't say an obsession, but a real interest in.