I was recently listening to a podcast that struck me to the core. I love the variety of Catholic podcasts so easily available now. I listen when I do my morning stretches, as I drive to and from work, or when folding laundry. It is a wonderful way to learn, to laugh, and to explore new ideas.
There are podcast for every niche audience. Those made by women, for women, celebrating the wonderful work of women; by lay ministers who love the Marvel Universe and bemoan the struggles of modern parish work -- caution: they are Franciscan alumni!; by my idol Bishop Robert Barron -- (ask your children about my groupie status and his wisdom); or simply a great podcast that will help you learn more about your faith by some amazingly funny and down-to-earth priests. One of my favorites I discovered via our students. The topical nature of that podcast is amazing!
On a recent podcast from the Catholic Stuff You Should Know priests they were ruminating on the neuroscientific effects of community. A neurobiologist, Dr. Stephany Biello, gave talk/conference to their community about the positive and demonstrable effects of experiencing true community:
"We are built for community and relationships and we can't escape it; relationships influence the brain more than any other factor. More than drugs, more than what we eat; whether we meditate or not, whether we exercise, whether we are challenged physically; relationships influence the way your brain works. How your cells are physically connected. How good they are at talking to each other. How often they generate new nerve cells, and how long your brain cells keep functioning. More than any other single factor: relationships--- community.”
Which brings me to our community: Mount Royal Academy.
I thank God for the grace and blessings of this community.
For 25 years of heart and faith.
For those who came before and those who have yet to step foot on our campus.
For the parents who entrust us with the tender hearts of their three year old children; to the 18 year old young adults who shake the dust off their feet as they stride into the world; our community is the single most important factor in all our lives. It can help us overcome sorrow, face a challenge, and shares our joys.
Please join us together next Friday, May 10th, in giving thanks to God for the many blessings He has poured upon us!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
- Amy Sansone, Academic Dean