Graduating senior Andrew Ward spoke to a group of Catholic student leaders during one of our pre-graduation events. He spoke about how at Georgetown, the Magis is Real sharing reflections on his four years of involvement with Catholic Campus Ministry. Attached below is his talk.
The academic enterprise, especially at the level of higher education, is often thought to
have as its end goal or purpose the pursuit and mastery of all the truths of the world. And of course, this pursuit is a good one, worthy of the time and effort of students and faculty alike at institutions around the world such as Georgetown. As a Catholic student, though, I am not satisfied with this quest for truth alone, or at least not worldly truths alone. At Georgetown, the stately eagle on our seal clasps both the globe AND the cross. Proudly unfurls our motto: “Utraque Unum,” “Both into One.” At Georgetown, we exist for something greater than the singular, intellectual pursuit of all the truths of the world. At Georgetown, there is something more. At Georgetown, the Magis is real.
For the past two years, I have had the distinct honor and privilege to work in Dahlgren Chapel as the student sacristan. This means that I have spent fifteen hours or more in the Chapel every week, setting up and cleaning up mass and completing various other tasks. In reflection, though, I realize that I have been a first-hand witness to the Magis of Georgetown even after the mass is over and the Chapel is empty. Dahlgren Chapel sits at the center of our campus. In her, our community encounters the source and summit of our faith: the Eucharist. At Georgetown, we live together; we eat together; we find all those truths about the world together, and finally, and most importantly, we encounter capital-T Truth in our shared faith, worship, and partaking in the Eucharist. Georgetown exists for something greater than academia. At Georgetown, the Magis is real.
I will never forget the New Student Orientation mass from our freshman year. There I
was, completely overwhelmed, about to say goodbye to my family and facing the vast unknown that was Georgetown and college life. But, as I approached McDonough Gymnasium and heard Christ Be Our Light playing at the processional, I felt at home. My mind went back to the countless times that I celebrated mass with my classmates in the gym of Malden Catholic High School and I, as I am sure many of you would understand, could not begin to count how many times I’ve heard Christ Be Our Light at Church. I knew one thing for certain, though. Georgetown existed for something more. The way this place marked the start of our college years was by gathering at the table and breaking the bread. At Georgetown, the Magis is real.
Whether it is NSO Mass, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, the Gaudate Sunday Mass in
Gaston Hall, or the Baccalaureate Mass that we will celebrate together on Sunday, we mark our steps on our journey here at the Hilltop by coming together into the presence of God by opening the scripture and breaking the bread. As I think back now, I realize how fortunate I have been to have experienced these years of growth and learning against the backdrop of our faith. What a joy and privilege to have started and ended four years together at the Eucharist.
And so, in closing, I wish to leave you all with the words of St. Ignatius, “Everything, oh God, is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.” Georgetown exists for something far greater than the pursuit of earthly truths. Georgetown exists for the Greater Glory of God and the Betterment of Humankind. Georgetown exists so that we can come together at the table and partake in the Body and Blood of Christ. At Georgetown, the Magis is certainly real.