This past month, many students, priests, and faculty watched in horror as the Notre Dame Cathedral burned during Holy Week. The Cathedral withstood the tests of time over many centuries, having been built in the 12th century. She had survived countless regime changes, two World Wars, the Paris terrorist attacks of 2015, a decline of faith over the past half century, and a time of, shall we say, a deconstruction of norms: “the Enlightenment.” And, after all of that, to be ruined by a mere construction fire.
Will she be rebuilt? No doubt. It is just a matter of how and when. But despite the willingness to rebuild this Catholic Cathedral, perhaps the more important questions facing the people of France are: Will there be a renewal of faith in France? Will the people of France come to accept their cultural and civilizational heritage as the eldest daughter of the Church?
The answers to those questions are both above my academic capacity to thoroughly answer and beyond the scope of this note. However, I start with this topic not only because it is a recognizable event, but also because Seton Hall University was founded as a place devoted to the pursuit of universal knowledge. Further, founding faculty would have stressed the significance of theology as a branch of knowledge, which emphasizes that the purpose of an education lies in the formation of the mind. This publication seeks to orient this University and her campus culture back to our foundation.
The development of this publication over the past year has been remarkable. We started with an idea, and a staff of five. We had the generous approval of Msgr. Ziccardi to give this a shot. Since our first publication we have garnered the support of numerous faculty and departments including a recent affiliation with the Institute for Communication and Religion. We joined a network of other Christian journals and now have a staff of sixteen, with seven for this issue.
I am humbled and blessed to have witnessed the miracle of so many students, faculty, and alumni brought together by an idea. This year we graduate some truly remarkable Seniors and Graduate students: Kiersten Lynch, Jennifer Hobeika, Anthony Tokarz, Mario Damasceno, Christian Gonzalez, and Kiley Britten. This vision would not have been possible without each of their tremendous contributions.
In this issue, we have introduced our first interview. The interview section is meant to highlight how certain faculty integrate their faith into their teaching and scholarship. This is Seton Hall’s 4th student publication, and we intend to write as long as this University remains open.
As the final weeks bring the semester to a close, many students are feeling the weight of the semester fall upon their shoulders.
Spring is a season of renewal and new life. But it can be hard to fully enjoy the season when you are either too busy studying or are inclined to procrastination. That being said, enjoy the weather as much as you can- we each only have so many Springs spent here at Seton Hall before it is all a memory.
Here at “The Heart of the Hall,” we are thrilled to have you be a part of our passion and hope to have you reading our Summer issue early this Fall.