Maryknoll Vocation Ministries is a service to the Maryknoll Society.
This blog aims to keep Maryknoll Formation Candidates and
Vocation Prospects abreast of discernment and Church issues.

May 9, 2012

A Milestone along the Journey

Seminarian Jonathan Hill
The long-awaited day has finally arrived. Four years of sweat, blood and tears have paid off. I am graduating with honors from Loyola University in Chicago, with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. I must admit, it is a wonderful feeling. Graduation is the culmination of years of hard work, all boiled down to the satisfaction of holding that piece of paper in your hands.
In the world of paying jobs, this piece of paper means a higher salary, a more comfortable position, and perhaps a little higher degree of honor. At least, it used to, before the recession hit. Now, it seems to be a basic requirement for getting a job. But I digress. It is still the symbol of something better, not to mention all of the actual knowledge that you get to take away from the experience. When I began studying philosophy, I didn’t know what to expect. I was never really exposed to it before. Philosophy was not taught in my high school, nor did I receive it in my previous colleges. I was raised as a Southern Baptist, and philosophy was never high on their agendas. In fact, I was taught to regard it with a degree of suspicion, as something that got in the way of and was opposed to theology. However, I can now say that philosophy has changed my life for the better. It gets into your brain and stirs it all up, putting it into a better configuration for critical thinking and processing. You begin to see the world through different eyes. Just like military service perhaps, I believe that philosophy should be a requirement for all young people…and politicians. Especially politicians! It would definitely change the world as we know it.

On top of all of this, I received this degree in philosophy at one of the finest Jesuit institutions, with some of the finest professors. I could not have asked for a better place to study. Inside the campus of Loyola lies St. Joseph’s College Seminary. This is the main undergraduate seminary for the archdiocese of Chicago, and was my second home. There I found plenty of young men on fire to serve God. I will miss their company and the leadership that is found there. I am grateful, though, to be moving on. I did it! I am graduating! In my world, this means that I now get to move on to the main part of my formation process. I now get to enter my Novitiate and Spirituality year. Now, all that is left is my Master’s degree and seven more years of formation. Sigh.

While this process sounds long and exhausting, it is the beginning of a life-long journey of love. Yes, the process is long, especially if you look at it as a process that is to be overcome, as something that stands in the way of reaching your goals. However, for me, the journey has always been more than half of the fun. If we treat each day as the place where we are supposed to be, and we slow down enough to enjoy it, the journey becomes the adventure and the goal. So, I am graduating. A milestone has definitely been reached. Now, let the journey of a new day begin

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