Over the past three weeks Holy Cross has celebrated graduation and two reunion weekends. At each we have been reflecting on the reality of time, both the impact of its passing and the perspectives our graduates acknowledged they gained in its passing. How much more their Holy Cross education means 25 years later than it did while it was being experienced. Because of what they learned in the classroom, the enduring friendships they formed and the values they appropriated over those years, they made life choices which have made all the difference.
This week 32 alums, spouses and trustees began an 8 day pilgrimage to Ignatian Spain and Rome. On this journey, instead of emphasizing the impact of time, we are using the lens of place to appreciate the origins and spiritual grounding of a Holy Cross education.
We met as a group at the Hotel NH in Bilbao to begin our weeklong journey together. As part of our introductions, we all shared where we were from…or where we called home. This conversation begins to prepare us for an experience that will allow us think about both space and place…places we see and spaces we occupy — and how we interpret these experiences in light of our own background and expectations — and ultimately what we will experience together on this journey.
We take a walk along the Nervion River to see the magnificent Guggenheim Museum on our way to dinner. The structure is beautifully integrated into the urban context of the area and has transformed what was a decrepit and dilapidated port area into a vibrant cultural mecca. We also walk over the Pedro Arrupe bridge to see the Universidad Deusto, one of the most significant Jesuit institutions in Spain. Dinner tonight is in a small local restaurant. We occupy an entire room and our dinner table feels like a family holiday gathering.