I apologize for the radio silence here at DatingGod.org so far this week. I wanted to post a brief note to let my readers know, first of all, that I haven’t receded again into the shadows of blogging; I’m very much still here. But these last few days have been unusually hectic. As some of you may be aware, over the last four years I have been working on a Ph.D. in systematic theology at Boston College. That means that in addition to the speaking, leading retreats, sacramental ministry, teaching, and writing books and articles, I’ve also been writing another kind of book, my dissertation. Well, on Monday I defended my dissertation successfully and completed my degree, which is wonderful. In addition to the time required for preparation and the events related to the defense, this also required me to fly between Chicago and Boston in short order because of my teaching schedule back in Chicago. There’s definitely no rest for the weary in this case: I had to teach the next day, and so flew back to Chicago early on Tuesday and returned to the campus of the Catholic Theological Union fifteen minutes before my first appointment on my schedule for the day.
It’s been a tremendous journey and one for which I am incredibly grateful. I am indebted to all of the faculty that have been mentors and guides, especially Professors Brian Robinette, M. Shawn Copeland, and Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM, who served on my dissertation committee. Boston College fully funds Ph.D. students in theology, which means that I had a full ride for the 4 years I studied there, and so I’m very grateful both to the University and to the Society of Jesus in general for their mission and commitment to academic excellence. I’m grateful to my family, friends, and friars. As a Franciscan friar, I have been supported by my Provincial Minister (i.e., religious superior) as well as the communities in which I have lived during my studies.
Although this isn’t a typical reflection on a usual current event or scripture passage, this is a recent news item that I wanted to pass along. So, no, I’m not that kind of doctor—a physician—which is what most people think of when they think of “doctor.” But in addition to having an honorary doctorate, I now have an earned doctorate and I rejoice in the gift of a vocation to education, research, and teaching that this credential will allow me to continue living out.