Reflections on Living the Adrian Dominican Vision
Seeking truth has been and continues to be a dominant force in the very structure of the Order and in my own life. Working as an educator, I have often questioned how effectively we as Catholic educators prepare our students to recognize the many ways in which our society penalizes the poor and the disadvantaged. Do we as preachers and teachers use our gifts to open possibilities that will both energize them and benefit the world? How consistently do we teach them about the glaring injustices around them? There are so many ways that such teaching can be used to inspire students to become passionate about the truth and hopefully to choose a direction for their lives that compels them to forgo the well-worn paths and find a place where their passion for truth and their own gifts come together to address some of the world's great needs.
In particular, I have struggled with the vision about our racist attitudes. For over 21 years, I have worked in a community where the issue of race continues to be a divisive one. Good people who come from every racial group labor to make our community one. Yet there remains so much suspicion and mistrust. I have committed myself repeatedly to the values embedded in our vision that call us to root out racial practices in our own lives and systems--systems in which we participate. While I found it helpful to work on community-wide racial problems, I decided that this pledge must first be fulfilled in my own institution. Hence, we set in place a process that identified various University practices that disadvantaged some, particularly minorities. Through study, analysis and action we raised those practices to the surface and found ways to change them---a process that demands truth-speaking, vision and courage a process that is a continuous one.
A. Fay, OP