Monday, July 18, 2011

Warren Carroll: Fidelity to a Charism

Warren H. Carroll. I don't know where to begin. I think it is going to take more than one blog entry for me to express all that I want to say.

Warren Carroll had one of those concrete inspirations: he saw something, dedicated himself to it for the love of Christ, and never gave up. Thus began the extraordinary adventure of founding a college in 1977 with nothing but trust in God, a handful of brave collaborators, and the conviction that it had to be done. Christendom College today is an established and respected educational institution, with a graduate school and a beautiful campus--a place sought out by high dignitaries of civil society and the Church. More importantly, it is an institution which offers a genuine education in which various academic disciplines, with all their particular riches, are harmonized and integrated in an overall vision that Warren summed up in his "five words": Truth exists. The Incarnation happened. Christendom offers a liberal arts education that takes seriously and ponders deeply the words of Blessed John Paul II: "Jesus Christ is the center of the cosmos and of history" (Redemptor Hominis, 1). Everything was created through Him and for Him. It is God's plan to bring all things together under His headship. "Instaurare Omnia in Christo" (Ephesians 1:10).

The Incarnation happened. Warren Carroll was convinced that this real fact revealed the meaning of everything. From this intuition came not only a curriculum and an institution, but a living reality, a history of relationships over the course of nearly 35 years among those who have been touched by the Christendom experience, and who have come to realize that they are members of a "people," the "People of God," the Catholic people--who are called to bring the beauty of Christ to the world.

There is only one thing that can explain the phenomenon of Christendom College. Warren Carroll was given a special grace to accomplish a work for the good of the Church and the world. He was given a charism. And he was faithful to that charism, that grace of the Holy Spirit, that begun its work with such fragility, that endured so many challenges from every direction, that continues to grow.

This is one constant memory I have of Warren Carroll through the years. He remained faithful to the mission God gave him. He allowed the seed planted within him to grow, he tended it, and he was always ready to fight to protect it. Thus it was able to bear fruit, abundant fruit, in the minds and hearts and lives of many.

Thank you Warren. God grant you eternal glory.