Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, spoke at the Sheil Catholic Center about finding truth and splendor in his profession on Monday night. He was there as part of Sheil Education Committee’s speaker series, Veritas et Splendor.
He told the roughly 40 students in attendance about the importance of finding truth, building spiritual relationships and accepting people.
“The truth that you possess is perfective of yourself,” he said, giving an example that illustrated how knowing the truth about fellow students would be more important than knowing accurate facts about Northwestern’s admissions rates.
George has been a high-ranking member of the international Catholic community for many years and was a part of the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. Sheil pastoral associate Mary Deeley said she was anxious to bring George to campus because she said she wanted to give campus a picture of religious hierarchy that is approachable and has a sense of humor.
“At Sheil we really try to emphasize that this is a place students can come when they are really trying to wrestle with questions of faith,” she said.
Deeley said one part of George’s speech that struck her most was that he said he believes that God loves all people. If students know this, she said, she thinks they can start heading in a spiritual and emotional direction that is right for them.
A large portion of George’s fireside targeted other pieces of advice specifically to college students as well. He said that new forms of communication, like Facebook, can help people to build and discover new relationships.
“I’m intrigued by it,” the archbishop said of Facebook. “Relationships are what tells us who we are.”
He wanted students to take away the point that interacting with others and helping others in need will serve as guidance for students looking for truth in their own lives. Being present but silent for other people when they are struggling in their own lives is a good step to take, George said.
“Sometimes, the best thing you can do is say nothing, but just be present, whether electronically or physically,” he said.