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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Brother Craig

Well, the news is out about the alleged incident of sexual misconduct. I saw it this afternoon when checking the weather at work, his familiar face splashed with glee across several local News websites. I will not post it here out of respect for him.

Yes, I still respect him, and I still love Brother Craig. Why? Because he was a sort of anchor for me when I was a student at St. Mary's in Winona.

Brother Craig actually started at St. Mary's in 1994 as the new Vice President. When we were in Mexico, he was part of a small delegation from campus ministry, bringing good tidings and support from our American counterparts. He spoke Spanish fluently, having lived and studied in Venezuela, and immediately, in him I found an ally. He was approachable, he was kind, and he understood the psychology of the "study abroad" experience, both during and after.

When I sent a request back with him for some materials for the practicum I was working in, he responded immedately upon his return to the US and within a couple weeks, I recieved a package. He had made good on his word and earned my trust.

We returned to the United States in early December, after classes had ended for the semester, and only a few days before returning, my Dad passed away. I remember speaking to Brother Craig about my father's passing, but I can't remember if he had heard about it and offered his condolences or if I had gone to find him for some reason and revealed it to him. In any case, he made it very clear to me that if I needed a listening ear, he was available.

And I did take advantage of that because not only was I dealing (or not dealing) with grief, but I was dealing with culture shock. It was so hard to be back at school when my heart was still in Mexico...and my soul wrought with grief I couldn't express.

Our conversations tended to be light and brief, but he helped me significantly in those small moments to somehow keep from going off the deep end. His presence in my life was a grace from God, and I will always treasure that. I will forever value those moments and the recognition of an ally at a very trying time in my life when I seemed surrounded by darkness. He was at least a spark of a light that kept me going.

I am very disappointed to hear of these allegations and Brother Craig's resignation, for it does seem to be a sort of betrayal. Yet what was or was not done is done and can't be avoided or changed. He and the rest of us can only move forward.

I just went to Confession tonight; I am in no position to condemn Brother Craig for I am not infallable myself. We all fall; we all sin. And none of us knows the facts in this case, we are not privy to them, nor should we be.

So I would ask you all to keep Brother Craig in your prayers. I can speak for one person who is not willing to give up on him. I owe him at least that.

5 comments:

Susan said...

Thanks, Adoro.

Many of us at SMU can attest to his kindness as well. This is a *very* serious matter. But he is a good human being as well.

Ray from MN said...

He is on my prayer list, Adoro, as are you, and the teachers, students and staff at SMU.

And I pray that these horrors shall end soon.

Being that it was difficult to find a Christian Brother to become president of the school, it may be that a non-Brother or a layperson will be the next choice.

It has been happening to many of the smaller Catholic schools. My Mom's sister was the last nun who was president of the College of St Scholastica in Duluth. And she retired in 1967.

But the Brothers are unique in that they are all teachers, many at the college level. Pray that one may be found to lead St Mary's.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I'm praying for you and for Brother Craig. He may have sinned but that does not necessarily make him an evil person or any less of a friend.

smk said...

Yes, Brother Craig is certainly in my prayers. I just read the Winona paper article. I guess my knee-jerk reaction is to compare his situation with others, like a polititian. Why is it when a certain former president was accused of sexual misconduct, the media extolled and supported him, accusing anyone who condemned his actions of being "right wing religious," but when a Religious president of a college is accused, there's no hint of understanding or compassion? The media is oh, so fickle and two-faced!

P.S. (an after-thought) said...

One of my family members considers Brother Craig a mentor as well. This person found out about the resignation because of being called in case he/she (my family member) had any knowledge of such situations. He/she doesn't.

I hope that this doesn't taint a good institution and anyboy who was a "mentee."