Propping Open the Door to Community

As a senior taking a full course load, working a full-time internship, writing for The Hoya and trying to make it to Tombs on occasion for a few beers with my friends, I have limited time to interact with Georgetown’s Chaplains-in-Residence. I rarely go to the events I read about in the weekly emails, I’ve never been to a chaplain’s house and I only know a few of them by name.

In fact, before Thursday, Feb. 12, I had never been to an event with a chaplain at all. But I have had a few passing interactions with Chaplain-in-Residence Josh Evans this year that have reminded me that there exists a caring, familial Georgetown community if I ever want it.

I met Josh briefly at a BBQ in the alumni square courtyard in the fall — I’ll
admit, I was there primarily to capitalize on the free food — and honestly I
didn’t even know who he was. But ever since, he’s made sure to say hello when our paths cross and ask how I’m doing.

Later in the fall semester, my roommates and I wanted to take him up on his generous offer to have dinner with his family, but scheduling conflicts forced us to postpone a couple of times. It didn’t work out (yet), but when I ran into him in Midnight Mug after winter break, he asked me about my break and told me about his. These brief conversations are no big deal, but — like the weekly emails that tell me what events the chaplains are hosting — they remind me that people are there for me if I need them, and that’s comforting.

Plus, I like hearing news and tidbits from the chaplains’ lives: which of their children just had a birthday, when the coffee hour for this week will be, that their kids will be delivering cookies to interested students (baked goods delivery, does it get any better??). All of this makes me feel like part of a larger community that’s just patiently standing by in case I feel like joining in.

So on Thursday night, between afternoon yoga and my 8 p.m. journalism
class, I carved out an hour to attend “Finding Spirituality Abroad: Dinner and Discussion” at the Catholic Women and Spirituality Magis Row House.
We had a dynamic, informal discussion; I chatted with Josh, and yes, ate
free food. I’m glad I went. But more than that, I’m glad Josh has made a point of saying hi and asking me about my life over the course of this year. Josh’s polite enquiries were a door stop, propping open the door to the Georgetown community for a busy senior who was already half way out of it.

Laura Wagner, COL ’15