ASC IV (2012-13)
Andrew Fleming ’08, Michigan State University ‘12
T.J. Howard ’08, TCU ‘12
Jake O’Brien ’08, Boston College ‘12
Chris Patterson ’08, University of Mississippi ‘12
By Andrew Fleming ’08
As the start of school approached, I often wondered what my role would be within the Jesuit community as an ASC member. I recalled my experiences as a student and as an athlete but to be on the other side of the desk made me contemplate what role I would have and how I would be received. Now, at the midpoint of the ASC program I can confidently say that our role is really whatever we want it to be. In the classroom, on the playing field, at the community service sites and on the retreats our role within the community is as varied and different as the four ASC members. It has taught me that not only is the Jesuit community much more expansive and intricate than meets the eye but that our involvement in the community is really up to us. The ASC program has put us in a position to experience all of these different aspects and at times to lead the retreats, teams, and classes that we fondly remember as students. The community aspect of the ASC program is asking us to be more than just members or supporters of the community. It asks us to lead the community that has given so much to us.
By T.J. Howard ’08
As a member of ASC, I have committed myself to a year of service which has turned out to be a very rewarding experience. Senior year of college shifts many people’s views to their source of income post graduation. This year has allowed me to free my mind from those distractions and focus on the things in my life that really matter. The program is designed to give us a break from the material world we live in and to focus on our commitment to serve. Jesuit has given me so much, and the ASC program has given me the opportunity to truly appreciate the blessings in my life while I give back to the Jesuit community.
By Jake O'Brien ’08
One of the pillars of the Alumni Service Corps is, of course, service. While members of the ASC serve in a number of different capacities, none of them completely define the ASC member. We may be teachers, coaches, and retreat leaders, but our primary task is always to serve Jesuit in the way it needs, regardless of what role it may require. This year I have learned that to serve the school well requires the ASC member to be both a leader and a follower. We must lead at times, such as in the classroom or on the field. But at other times we must be a follower, willing to humble ourselves to achieve the task demanded. The ASC year, then, has given me a clearer understanding of what it means to be a true servant-leader, or as we also say here, a Man for Others.
By Chris Patterson ’08
After spending four years at a public university and away from the religious context of a Jesuit education, the spiritual aspect of the Alumni Service Corps program has been one most refreshing and grounding benefits of this year. The program is unique in how it intricately melds professional training with spiritual development. Out of all the activities that we do, the most enriching have been the times that were explicitly devoted to spiritually interacting with the faculty, students, and each other. I’ve had the opportunity to have a weekly dinner with the Jesuits, lead students on retreats, and celebrate the liturgy on a more frequent basis than I ever have before. Even the activities that are not explicitly spiritual—teaching, community service—are always done with a deeper religious purpose constantly in mind. So far, this year has indeed been busy, but it has also offered a numerous opportunities to pause, reflect and discern, activities that are becoming increasingly rare in our modern world. Overall, the blessings in my life have grown even more apparent in these past few months as I fulfill my commitment to the school and the community it fosters.