Monday Morning Update

November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving: Below six members of our community explain why they are thankful this holiday.

Opportunities: I was born blind with cataracts, but I am thankful I live in a country with the best eye surgeons in the world, and though my vision is far from perfect, I can see.  My father was an alcoholic, but I am thankful for self-help programs for teaching me to cope and love him in spite of his affliction.  My family struggled, but I am thankful for the kindness of friends and strangers who helped with food and hand-me-down clothing, so that we never went without.  I was lonely and socially awkward, but I am thankful that at Stonehill I met the love of my life to whom I have been married for over 32 years, and blessed with four very special children.  I have wrestled with doubts about my faith, but I am thankful that God has given me a church where I can worship Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.  There are others who have much greater needs than mine, but I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given to give back in my life. Dennis Carman ’82

Open Doors: I am doing a year of service in Camden N.J. with the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry doing God's work. From teaching in the parish school to hearing the stories of and sharing laughs with people living with HIV at a separate ministry site, it hits me that without God, my family, and my education, I would not be where I am today. Stonehill introduced me to My Brother's Keeper (MBK), which awoke a passion in me for serving others that I didn't know I had and led to me to choose a year of post-graduation volunteer service. I am thankful to Stonehill and MBK for opening new doors in my life and leading me to this wonderful place. Andrew Staiti ’14

My Sons: I am thankful for my two sons because they are still young and innocent enough to reach for my hand, give me hugs, and ask tough, but important questions. Heather Heerman ’96

Life’s Lottery: Though I’ll be missing Thanksgiving for the first time in my life, being at Oxford University in England has made me thankful for many things. Two things in particular, however, stand out: I'm thankful for where I am and where I come from. I’m thankful that I’m studying at the best university in the world, surrounded by the brightest students and teachers, and another heir to incredible legacies of excellence. I’m thankful that I’m being challenged academically, emotionally, and mentally. I’m thankful that I have thousands of opportunities at my fingertips. I’m thankful for Stonehill, which provided me the tools and support to get here andfor my Stonehill friends for providing a familiar place in this new city. I’m thankful for my mom and dad, family, friends, teachers, and supporters who worked incredibly hard, perhaps even harder than I did, to allow me to follow this dream. And I’m thankful that I came to these realizations while I was sitting in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris reflecting on the amazing lottery of life that I managed to win. Caroline Lambert ’16

Teachers: The late Education Professor Al Cullum influenced my 34-year career as an elementary school teacher. Like Al, I wanted to make learning exciting and fun. At the end of my first year, I read his Shake Hands with Shakespeare. Using his adaption, my class performed Macbeth, with the witches running from the back of the auditorium with a strobe light to create the mood. In my last year of teaching, I returned to Al’s adaption of Macbeth and my class performed a high class production.  Some years before that production, Al gave a workshop and there I met and thank my mentor. So many people have touched my life, making me a better person and a better teacher. Thank the teachers and others who have influenced your life. Robert Gaffney ’67

Love: I am thankful for the love and support of family and friends, because with them there is no need to seek second chances or ask for forgiveness. Instead, these relationships are governed by unconditional love, which means they are there for you through thick and thin. It is that unconditional love and support that sustains me through the minute, hour, day, month, year, and ultimately: a lifetime. Brendan Monahan '15

Our Readers: As a token of appreciation for our readers, we have 25 copies of a frame-able aerial photo collage of the Stonehill campus. Email Happy Thanksgiving.