President's Page

Being Resilient

Facing our fears is never easy, and to do so successfully requires real resiliency, the ability to persevere against the odds. In this issue, we feature several stories that capture the essence of being resilient when confronted by life’s challenges. 

As a young student at the American University of Beirut, Mona Rowan, who now teaches Arabic at Stonehill, got caught in the crossfire of the Lebanese Civil War. Stray bullets shattered her jaw and hand. Over 10 years, Rowan, who came to Boston for medical care, underwent 32 surgeries to restructure her jaw. She persisted with a taxing medical regime, while she simultaneously earned degrees in public relations, French, Spanish and education. Students in the new Arabic minor program often comment on how her story has inspired them to work hard and forge ahead.

Similarly resilient is Margaret (Hiscock) Marie ’78, a resident of The Boston Home, which provides care for adults with progressive neurological diseases. Faced with many challenges, Marie has persevered by developing an app that enhances accessibility for her fellow TBH residents.

In “Fear Not!” we feature a reflection on fear—inspired by an essay by Professor of Religious Studies Richard Gribble, C.S.C.—that examines whether fear helps us or hurts us as we try to live with courage, character and grace.

In a tribute to the late Rev. Robert J. Kruse, C.S.C. ’55 and a profile of Rev. Arthur Colgan, C.S.C. ’68,
we have stories of how faith can serve as a guide in times of uncertainty. Both priests embraced uncertain projects. Stonehill was still in its infancy when Fr. Kruse returned here in 1961, but over many decades and in many roles, he proved resilient in inching the College forward. The first alumnus to be ordained a bishop in the Catholic Church, Bishop Colgan has devoted his life to helping the displaced and underserved in Lima, Peru. The scale of that challenge would have intimidated many, but thanks to his perseverance and dedication, he has made a difference in the lives of many marginalized Peruvians who otherwise would be neglected.  

The story of Stonehill itself is very much one of resiliency and the capacity for rebounding from setbacks. Collectively, we have always pulled together, pushed forward and worked to make our academic mission stronger. This story is preserved in the College Archives, guided by Nicole (Tourangeau) Casper ’95 and Jonathan Green ’10, two alumni who work diligently to share the College’s legacy with our campus community and with the public.

I hope these reflections give you a good sense of how Stonehill continues to forge ahead.  

Sincerely in Holy Cross,


(Rev.) John Denning, C.S.C.
President