Monday, May 5, 2008

Hope in a Crucifix

Four years ago Brian was just getting ready to graduate from the University of St. Thomas. I, being a year ahead of him, had already made my way into corporate America.

As is tradition at St. Thomas, the senior class was collaborating on a gift to leave for the campus. The committee consisted of 19 members from the student body. And Brian, being the Senior Class President, was included in the committee. The idea was for the committee to decide what their gift to the university should be and then solicit the students for monetary donations toward that gift.

One member of the committee offered the idea of giving the university's chapel a permanent crucifix. Something the chapel had not had since it was built. He could not have predicted the uproar this would cause. The controversy stemmed on whether the crucifix would represent the entire student body. On the other hand, was a gift meant to represent the giver?

Being the Senior Class President, Brian was caught in the middle of this argument. But as a Catholic and being appreciative of the four years of Catholic education he had just received, he obviously was in support of the crucifix. Below is an excerpt of an article that was printed in the campus newspaper. The complete article can be found here.

Senior class president Brian Nash is also on the senior gift committee, and he said he supports giving a crucifix as a gift for a number of reasons. He pointed to a past class that gave a flagpole as an example that no senior gift will fully represent the entire class.

"We have international students in the senior class, and that American flag may not be representative of their country," Nash said. "You would hope that after four years they would see the ideals of the American flag. They may not believe in it fully or think America’s the greatest, but they’d at least respect it and see the good in it. I would hope that we could see the same for the crucifix."

Nash said he will focus on making the senior gift a good experience for everyone.

"I certainly don’t want people’s emotions and their ideologies getting trampled on," he said. "I really want respect around this issue. The gift has been voted on and it’s been decided on. We’re really trying to keep this as positive as possible."

The class of 2004 gave $5,000 toward a gift of a crucifix to be included in the campus chapel. A few private donors (to cover the remaining costs) and four years later and the crucifix and a renovated sanctuary have been finished.

Yesterday Brian and I attended a mass to celebrate the blessing of this new crucifix and the renovated altar.

A picture of the new crucifix adorned the invitation that was sent to us to attend the blessing mass. But nothing, including that picture, could have prepared me when I first walked into the chapel. The crucifix is absolutely breathtaking. It is 11 feet tall and is suspended from the ceiling over the altar.

In his homily, Father Dease (University President) spoke about hope. He talked about how he had met with the Holy Father when he was in America and how the Holy Father's message to Catholic education was one of hope. And I thought how appropriate that theme was for this day.

Here we were, in this beautiful chapel, where Brian and I attended mass so many times while we were students. A chapel where we also vowed to spend the rest of our lives together in our sacrament of marriage. And now, four years later, we were back in support of our hope for the university, Catholic education and the Church as a whole. And hanging above us was the symbol and testament to it all.

As I wrote this I searched high and low for a complete picture of the new crucifix inside the chapel. I came up dry. At first I was kicking myself for not taking a picture yesterday. But now I think that it's only appropriate that I tease you with this post with hope that you too will someday walk into the chapel and be just as awed as I was.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Brian! That's great news! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © Mama Nash | Custom Blog Design by Lilipop Designs