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Love. Marriage. Relationships. God. — Ask Father Norbert Burns, S.M. ’45

3:29 PM  Dec 22nd, 2014
by Thomas Columbus

The questions and answers that appear only in this online edition of the University of Dayton Magazine are followed by those appearing in the print edition.

What does Father Burns do for entertainment? —ANITA AND JAMES BROTHERS, DAYTON

Anita, James, As you know my beloved sister has moved to Dayton. We take frequent rides, enjoy Hills and Dales and Cox Arboretum. I have cultivated a hobby in reading and research on Dayton history — especially Deeds (No. 1 in my book), Kettering and Patterson. I have read everything I can find on Wilbur and Orville along with visiting their monuments, museums and home in Indiana.

You were always passionate in the classroom. To what do you ascribe that passion? —BILL ROBERTS, DAYTON

Bill, Passion is who I am, a gift from Mary.

Is there one fundamental piece of advice that you would give regarding developing and maintaining a successful relationship? —TERRI KAYLOR ’80, KETTERING, OHIO

Terri, Stay with the pursuit. Relationships, community is the Chaminade charism.

“In the Marianist Tradition” — four words that are integral to UD’s mission statement. Please remind us why that is so important. —DAN COVEY ’77, SPRINGBORO, OHIO

Dan, Because those four words are the best answer to a purposeful life.

What did you love the most about the classroom? —MICHELA BUCCINI ’08, NORWOOD, OHIO

Michela, The embrace of God’s, Mary’s children.

Pope Francis celebrated a public marriage with 20 couples, some previously married, some living together and one an unwed mother. Do you see this as a positive influence? —JIM McGARRY ’73, TROY, OHIO

Jim, Thank you!  I believe the great Francis is finding answers that are much needed.

How do you know you have had a great day in God’s eyes? —ANITA AND JAMES BROTHERS, DAYTON

Anita, James, I don’t know. I trust — the heart of any relationship.

The following questions and answers appeared in the University of Dayton Magazine, Winter 2014-15, vol. 7,  no. 2.

With the passing of such great Roman Catholic theologians as Yves Congar, Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, to cite just a few from that same fertile period of the 1960s, who do you see replacing them today? —BILL ANDERSON, LAC DU FLAMBEAU, WISCONSIN

Bill, I have given considerable thought to your great question. Congar, Rahner, Schillebeeckx, de Chardin are still with us. Today I honor Elizabeth Johnson, Pope Francis, Dairmuid O’Murchu, Matt Malone.

In your five decades of teaching, did you observe any fundamental changes in students’ attitudes towards relationships and marriage? —TERRI KAYLOR ’80, KETTERING, OHIO

Terri, In the early years attitudes were much more fixed. Today finds a much greater openness and acceptance of challenging those fixed ideas.

What advice can you give to young adults about to enter the sacrament of marriage? —DAN COVEY ’77, SPRINGBORO, OHIO

Dan, I have been sharing reflections on Six Keys to a Healthy Relationship. They are: Vision/Sacramentality — Passion — Dynamism — Communing Ways — Openness — Accommodating.

Why is it that so-called good Christians are so judgmental of others? If you do not live life their way, they feel you will not go to heaven. God loves us all. He welcomes us all into his kingdom. —MARY ALICE LOGAN, VIA FACEBOOK

Mary Alice, We are all God’s, Mary’s! We may be different, but we are all brothers and sisters embracing each other. Openness to the embrace is our call, our test.

How many students would you estimate you’ve taught during your career at UD? —CHELSEY SOUDERS ’04, TWINSBURG, OHIO

Chelsey, They tell me over 27,000 students met me in the classroom, the largest number of any professor in UD’s history. What a gift I have been given.

How much, in your present retirement, do you miss teaching? —BILL ROBERTS, DAYTON

Bill, I became avowed Marianist to live my life for God through Mary. In my retirement I am concentrating on that goal. I also wanted to dedicate my life as you have to the service of the young. For me that meant the classroom. I do miss it.

What has been the most rewarding thing about being a community member at UD? —HEATHER POOLE HEWITT ’98, CINCINNATI

Heather, As a vowed Marianist I hoped to answer Chaminade’s vision by a belongingness, a relationship. The UD Community was the answer for me, Chaminade’s Sodality in action.

What has kept you passionate and dedicated through your life as a Marianist? —MICHELA BUCCINI ’08, NORWOOD, OHIO

Mary’s help! My whole life is in her honor and for her glory.

How does the present pope, Francis, compare to Pope John XXIII, who called the Second Vatican Council into session in the 1960s and revolutionized the church? He seems to do many wonderful things, but what about “substantive” theological issues? —BILL ANDERSON, LAC DU FLAMBEAU, WISCONSIN

Bill, I love Francis and have great hopes for a 1960s repeat. Answers must be found to theological thorns. Mary will lead him!

How would you advise a person who is having a crisis of faith, not because of the laws of God, but rather because of the rules of the local church? —MAUREEN WILLITS ’69, KETTERING, OHIO

Maureen, We are grateful for the guidance of our Church. We are cognizant of the humanity of those making and interpreting the laws and the importance of conscience.

Why do you have such a devotion to Mary? Who influenced you the most growing up? Why the Marianist and not a different Catholic order? What was your favorite subject in high school and college? What do you believe is your legacy at the University of Dayton? —ANITA AND JAMES BROTHERS, DAYTON

a. a gift from my saintly mother; b. without a doubt, my mother and with her weekly devotion to the Miraculous Medal Novena at St. Ignatius Church in Cleveland; c. Cathedral Latin High School, Cleveland; d. discerning the purpose of life; e. that the primary message of life, of Scripture is RELATIONSHIP.

For our next issue, ask your questions of Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M. ’64, former University president (1979-2002) and current Father Ferree Professor of Social Justice. Email your questions to magazine@udayton.edu.

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