Sept. 16 – 22, 2004
By Eileen Jevis/ SUN staff writer
St. Thomas More Residence Opens on SU Campus
During a Mass on Sept. 5 at the Alibrandi Center at Syracuse University, Bishop Thomas Costello, Father Tim Mulligan, OFM Conv., and campus minister Eileen Pollack commissioned nine students to a new life of living in Christian community. The students from Syracuse University and SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) were selected from more than 20 applicants to spend the academic year together at the newly-renovated St. Thomas More House creating a community where the love of Christ dwells.
Established in 1939, the St. Thomas More Foundation at the Alibrandi Catholic Center supports campus ministry. The Alibrandi Center serves more than 4,000 students by providing spiritual guidance, support and education. The purpose of the More House residence is to offer as many as 12 students from SU and SUNY ESF an intentional community environment based in Franciscan spirituality while integrating the contemporary lifestyle of college students. The goals for More House include teaching students how to live in community with one other, to work together, to handle conflicts and to become more rooted in Christian faith. It will also allow them to become more aware of the social consequences of their faith, explore Franciscan and other Christian spiritualities and gather information about the basic elements of community life. In order to be chosen to live at More House, students were required to complete an application, write essays and participate in an interview. Katie Greenan, a graduate student working on her master’s degree in broadcast journalism, chose to live at More House in order to connect spiritually with others. She also said that she will be very busy this academic year and hopes that More House will keep her grounded and focused on what is important in life. Like the other residents of the house, Katie will be required to complete a community service project each semester, eat a meal with her housemates once a week and involve herself in three group projects.
Stephen Terzolo is a sophomore at SU majoring in accounting. He was looking for something different from the traditional dorms. “I wanted to be somewhere where I could develop my soul while developing my mind here at SU,” said Stephen. “More House offered that difference.” Stephen is in the process of discerning a vocation to the priesthood, so he hopes that his experience of More House community lifestyle will be much like what he could expect living in a religious community. “We are fortunate to have a uniquely Franciscan spirituality of fostering our community spirit and friendships while honoring our many differences,” said Stephen. “We are also serving as examples of Christian charity to a campus and generation in need of Jesus.” During the ritual of commissioning, Bishop Costello said that in the 13th century, Saints Francis and Clare called men and women to live as brothers and sisters and to experience God’s goodness in their common life together. “May this year be a time of learning how to be brother and sister to one another and the serving that will entail,” said Bishop Costello. “May More House be a place where you come to know of Gospel living and the love of God.” Sharing a life with other Christians appealed to Michael Bushnell, a junior at SU majoring in English textual studies. “I spent my summer living at More House during its construction and began to feel comfortable enough with the surroundings to live here during the fall and spring academic semesters,” said Michael. “I didn’t expect to find a community that had a family-like atmosphere.”
After Mass, Bishop Costello blessed the house and prayed for its residents. “Grant to your servants who will live at More House these blessings: To listen to You in faith; to speak to You in prayer; to seek You in their work; and to find You in all they do,” said Bishop Costello. “Through them spread the good aroma of Christ everywhere.”
For more information about the More House, visit www.StThomasMoreatSU.org