In the early 1990’s with much trepidation, I moved into the city at the urging of a very good friend, Fr. Rian Clancy, C.P. A word about Clancy as he was known by his friends: Clancy was a truly inveterate learner, constantly going to movies, reading books and meeting new people. Then, I accepted him as just another Passionists—all my Passionist friends are great learners.
When I left the Passionists’ Novitiate in 1963, I went on to DePaul University in Chicago and joined another community of learners. I’ll never forget sitting in philosophy class discussing whether there was such a thing as a bladeless knife without a handle, or if a tree fell in the forest and no one was around to hear it, would it make a noise. Again, I took this learning community for granted.
I won’t bore you with all the other great learning communities I’ve found myself involved with over the years, but nine years ago I retired and all of a sudden, I find myself without a primary learning community, which when I retired was the Chicago Board of Education and the faculty and support group at Montefiore as well as the doctoral cohort I was part of at Northern Illinois University. On top of that, my good friend Clancy died and other Passionists like Fr. Joe and Fr. Alan, and now my great Friend Fr. Sebastian have all moved on. What am I to do?
John Green in his November 2012 TED talk: “The nerd’s guide to learning everything online” has given me new hope of finding a new learning community. Interestingly enough he touts it as where young people today are finding their learning community. Well, I wonder why I can’t do that as well, and maybe talk some of my good friends and family into joining me there, discovering all the great information online as well as contributing our share to the mix.
Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey