Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Times They Are A Changing!!

I was recently going through a local magazine, “The Improper Bostonian,” when I came across an article about Ayla Brown, daughter of Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, former contestant on American Idol, and a student at Boston College. In the article was this picture of her working out with a group of other students. As I looked at the picture, I recognized the building they were in.

Many years (Okay, decades!) ago, I was a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Boston, attending St. John’s Seminary. It was a large campus, with the seminary’s college, and school of theology, archdiocesan offices, and the Archbishop’s residence. In the days, before my time, seminarians were pretty much restricted to the campus. They had built a small gym building, so that they would get needed exercise. When I was there, the building was a little rundown, but still saw a good number of basketball and volleyball games.

When the Archdiocese was deep in debt, on top of the settlement payments to victims of clergy abuse, it sold just about all of the campus to Boston College. It appears that BC is making use of the old gym as a exercise hall. Where once male seminarians played indoor sports, now male and female students are working out. Near the old gym building is the tomb of William Cardinal O’Connell, the first Archbishop of Boston to receive the red hat, and who was a bit of an ecclesial tyrant. He must be spinning in his grave!

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