Community was the topic assigned to the orientation counselors meeting with incoming first-year students. They knew they’d stress that community had always been the heart and center of their college; however, if they had met before COVID-19, their suggestions about creating community would have been different. Students would have been encouraged to get together without much thought about possible consequences including that of spreading viruses. This year, as never before, the counselors realized that they needed to stress that the welfare of each member of the community as well as their own was at stake in the choices they made. Perhaps for the first time, verse 7 of chapter 72 of the Rule of St. Benedict, “No one is to pursue what s/he judges better for her/himself, but instead, what s/he judges better for someone else” applied to their community in a way it never had done before.
By Lois Wedl, OSB