Kerry Cronin, associate director of the Lonergan Institute and a philosophy professor, discussed the importance of questioning our values and beliefs to better understand ourselves and others at a luncheon on Friday.
The Church of the 21st Century Center and Campus Ministry closed Espresso Your Faith Week with the lunch. Espresso Your Faith Week is a week-long celebration that works to unite the Boston College community and show how faith appears in day-to-day life.
Cronin began the discussion by asking students what was on their minds and inviting them to share what part of their faith drove them to participate in Espresso Your Faith Week. The central focus of the talk was how to have difficult conversations in everyday life about topics such as faith, alcohol, roommates, and marriage.
Espresso Your Faith Week is important, Cronin said, because it allows students to reflect on their faith.
“What I like about it is that sometimes you don’t know what you believe in until you try to express it or until you try to explain it to someone,” she said. “That’s why conversations are so important.”
Cronin is well known for her talks on dating and the hookup culture. When a student asked her how to change the drinking or hookup culture, Cronin reiterated the importance of conversations.
“If we could have more friendships and more conversations like the ones I hope happened this week, it would be interesting to see the sort of transcendence that would happen on this campus,” she said.
Students who aren’t Catholic or Christian should not be intimidated or feel isolated by Espresso Your Faith Week, Cronin said. The events of the week are about discovering who you are and where you fit in the world.
“It’s part of the human condition to ask questions about deeper, more profound things.”
Cronin said Espresso Your Faith Week inspires conversations on campus—not just about faith, but also about the different issues in the world today. One such conversation that sprouted on campus last week was the #SilenceIsViolence march.
“Jesuits are not interested in making you comfortable,” Cronin said. “If you’re too comfortable here, we didn’t do something right.”
When one of Cronin’s students from her Perspectives class asked how friendship and faith interact, she answered that the right kinds of friendships will help you express that faith.
“I think some friendships are acts of faith, I don’t think they’re more than going to Mass or helping a stranger or acts of kindness,” she said. “I think they’re all part of a whole.”
In addition to lunch with Cronin, the Church in the 21st Century Center and Campus Ministry held events like lunch with Tom Wesner, a business law professor, and the Agape Latte Beanpot, which featured actor Chris O’Donnell.
Cronin concluded the lunch by discussing the importance of questioning and coming to understand your own set of values and beliefs. She said this questioning allows students to be the same people on the weekend as during the week, and it allows them to love one another.
“It’s part of the human condition to ask questions about deeper, more profound things,” Cronin said. “And the more we can set the conditions for these conversations to take place, the better it will be.”