Apr. 10, 2013
Dear members of the university community:
From the announcement of the first-ever Jesuit pontiff to a heart-stopping run for our men’s basketball team and the celebration of Easter and the other faith holidays of the season, the past month has had more than its share of riveting and renewing moments.
Certainly the early weeks of the papacy of Francis have offered us a remarkable example of Catholic and Jesuit leadership. Assuming new responsibilities with signature humility and grace, he kept his attention, and ours, on the needs of the poor and the marginalized. The many gifts he brings to the Church guide us as we pursue our mission of working for the greater glory of God and the well-being of humankind.
Back on campus, I want to make sure you are aware of a few significant events and observances this month. During the past few years, this university community has made a concerted effort to grow in our efforts to prevent sexual violence, in realizing our commitment to being a community that cares for and watches out for each other. As Sexual Assault Awareness Month, April will feature lectures and awareness-building efforts on campus while offering us a fresh opportunity to focus on education and prevention efforts that continue throughout the year. Please see this video for a closer look at this important, ongoing work.
April also marks an annual celebration that is one of my personal favorites, National Poetry Month. As an often underappreciated art form, poetry benefits from a nudge like this. People who have lost touch with poetic expression find themselves rewarded for rediscovering it. Join them. For help getting started, visit the Raynor Memorial Libraries’ first-floor poetry display any time this month. Or view the display “Poems Reflecting Spirituality,” which will be located near the second-floor bridge. Other poetry month highlights include a reading of international verse on Tuesday, April 16, and Marquette’s fourth annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration on Thursday, April 25, this year featuring Shakespearean operas performed by singers and musicians from our community.
As I like to do each year, I will also use this message to share a favorite poem with you. I hope you find meaning in it and carry its message with you as you contribute in unique and remarkable ways to the life of Marquette University.
Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.
To be of use
By Marge Piercy
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., is interim president
Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., is the interim president of Marquette University. From 1996 to 2011 he served as the 22nd president of Marquette University. Under his leadership, Marquette has improved academic quality, increased and stabilized enrollment, and enhanced partnerships with the City of Milwaukee and community groups and in 2005 completed the most successful comprehensive campaign in the history of the university with a total of $357 million. Read more...