by Patrick Angiolillo
The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.
So beings “An Order for Compline” from the Book of Common Prayer according to the use of the Episcopal Church.
As a recently matriculated student to Yale Divinity School, I have found myself in a new place, with new friends, and among new religious traditions. At Boston College, I was never for lack of Mass, prayer, or all things Catholic. As a member of several Catholic student groups on campus, I had ample opportunity to discuss everything from the Bible to Church teaching to recent issues facing the church and her leadership. “My cup overflows,” as the Psalmist writes.
But, as with many things, life kept moving, even though I probably did not want it to. I graduated. And now I have begun my studies in Bible here at YDS.
I have already connected with the school’s Roman Catholic Fellowship group, and I have fast become a regular at the college’s Catholic Chapel, the aptly named St. Thomas More chapel. I have, in my several short weeks here, already dug my roots into the soils of New Haven.
But there has been, for me, a conspicuous lack of Catholicity. Or, perhaps more precisely, there is an abundance of catholicity, such that my Catholicism is unique.
This melting pot of Christianity at YDS has its advantages and disadvantages. I have found myself extremely at home with many new friends whose lives have been shaped by a very different forms of the Christian faith. But, equally so, I have found my comfortability stretched and tested at times, particularly with regard to liturgy.
None of this is to pass a value judgment on YDS or any of my Christian brothers and sisters. Indeed, the mission of the school and its demographic composition are not considerations of this article. What I mean to note is the beauty of this community of Christians who have come together to learn, prayer and grow as individuals and groups.
And such has been my project. I have exposed—and will continue to expose—myself to many Christian traditions, to their worship, and to their faith. Continue reading