A Catholic Priest Walks into a Methodist School…

Father David (right), with Emorys 22nd President James Wagner (referred by undergrads, affectionately, as J Wag.)

Father David (right), with Emory's 22nd President James Wagner (referred by undergrads, affectionately, as "J Wag.")

Our Guest Blogger this week is Father David Glassmire. Fr. Glassmire is a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York. He is also a chaplain serving on active duty in the United States Navy. After completion of his studies at Emory, he will be assigned to the First Marine Division, First Marine Regiment, Camp Pendleton, CA. Fr. David is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Glassmire of Kenmore, NY , and the elder brother of Cathleen Mroz and Lynn Wyland. He currently lives in the Woodland Hills section of Atlanta with his “spoiled rotten” Vizsla, Rye. He is a graduate of Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY (MDiv) and the University of Notre Dame (MAT in Liturgical Studies). He was designated a Student Marshal for Commencement 2009 and graduated first in this year’s ThM class.

Reflections on the Eve of Graduation 2009

I am Candler, I am Emory, and I am the Spirit of Dooley! Although not the Holy Trinity, this is as good as it gets in a School of Theology of Methodist leanings—for a Catholic priest, that is!

Commencement and graduation offer an opportunity for reflection and gratitude. Often in life we take things for granted. At Candler I gained insight: “I did not learn my theology all at once, but had to search deeper for it, where my temptations took me” (appropriated from Karl Rahner). And some of my theological insights were gained at the High Museum or the Georgia Aquarium rather than the study carrels at Pitts (appropriated from Martin Luther). And in the end emerged a ThM thesis of my own.

My ThM year provided theology writ large, painted on a canvas of international proportions. Coming together with diverse backgrounds—“would-be theologians” us all—we studied, worked, and shared together, seeking to find what God placed in our midst.

Candler shaped this experience, helped to make it happen using words rife with intent, purpose, and profound meaning, and we have all grown because of our experience in this place. So it is time to unleash a new generation of theologians on the four corners of the universe, heaven help us all! This has been one of the best years of my life. Thank You.

What can a Catholic learn from a Methodist? As it turns out, more than I ever thought I would know. Therefore, I invite you to take the Candler Challenge.


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