Wednesday, January 12, 2022

BC - Of those to whom much is given, much is expected - Joseph M McShane

 Jozef M McShane

Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. '67 Delivers Emotional Kenynote Address, Expressing Deep Admiration For "An Unearned Gift of Pure Grace From a Woman Whom We Only Knew As The Foundress." 

"The problem with Regis is that its hype never lived up to the reality of the Regis experience," began McShane. "Now that's saying something."

Every Regian is haunted by the realization that his life was transformed by an unearned gift of pure grace from a woman whom we only knew as The Foundress. We were not the children of privilege. Far from it. We were and are, however, the adopted sons of generosity. And what boundless and inexplicable generosity it was. Although the Foundress never met us, she loved us. Although she never knew us, she believed in us. Although she never saw us, she nurtured high hopes for us. Ultimately, she and her family gave us all that they had so that we might have and lead lives filled with meaning and purpose." 

Perhaps the most emotional moment of the night came when Fr. McShane detailed a visit earlier in the week to the Foundress’s grave: 

"And there I saw it: her name. I trembled. Then, I stepped back and prayed. To be honest, I was not sure if I was praying to her or for her. But I can tell you this: I spoke to her from the heart—but not from my own heart alone. No. No. I told her that I spoke for every boy whose life had been forever changed and transformed by the unmerited gift that she had given to him. I spoke for every Noble Heart who ever walked through the Tunnel and discovered an entirely new world in and through the school that she had founded in memory of the husband who awaits the Resurrection just next to her. On your behalf, I thanked her. I assured her that even though we had never known her name, we tried to live lives worthy of the love that she had for us, the faith that she had in us and the hopes that she nurtured for all of us. I also asked her to pray that we might always be sons of fair Regis in deed and not only in name. That is to say, I asked her to pray that like herself, we might know how to give and not to count the cost, to labor and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing that we do God’s will—and do it for His greater glory." 

"My friends, with TS Eliot, my end is my beginning," concluded McShane. "Of those to whom much is given, much is expected. As Regians and therefore as the sons of a great generosity, our response to these words must always be: Teach me. Teach me to be generous."

Regis Centennial Gala - Keynote Address by Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. ‘67  

“We received so many gifts from attending Regis," Minson stated. "We had doors opened to opportunities we never could have imagined. We made lifelong friends. We became experts in navigation the New York City subway system. But perhaps the greatest gift we received was from the faculty who taught us much more than Latin, Calculus, or Physics… in my case particularly physics. From the faculty, during perhaps our most formative years, we learned incredible life lessons such as the importance of trying our best to live our lives according to Regis’s motto of being men for others. We don’t always get this right but thanks to them we are still trying."