“We are, all of us, molded and remolded by those who have loved us, and though that love may pass, we remain none the less their work.”
― François Mauriac
I was sitting at the back of the celebration of Dave Larson’s life a few weeks ago. Dave, father of Thomas, class of 2018 recently passed away after a long struggle with ALS. Dave had an incredible impact on countless people through his coaching and scouting and fatherhood. Those he influenced helped carry him through his struggle as he continued to mold and remold those around him. I could not but help but see the sea of De Smet Jesuit students who are building similar relationships with each other and how they are being molded and remolded by the brotherly love.
Maybe that is the core of a De Smet Jesuit education—the constant molding and remolding we experience by the community. Sadly, in death, the reality of the power of relationships comes to the fore again and gets celebrated. Many times, those relationships mold us into men for others. Occasionally that molding leaves marks and scars. As I saw it at Mr. Larson’s funeral, I see it in our hallways.
During our great soccer run through the playoffs, I saw that molding and remolding again, but in a different context. This time, it was in the stands and on the field. Cheers and pride and self-sacrifice on the pitch molded us individually and as a school. I saw hundreds of young men just being themselves in all their goofy, hysterical, and energetic glory. Something that purely fun and raw can’t help but change you. The second place finish stings a bit, but does not overshadow the incredible run these guys had.
If you ask a teacher what word I use most, it will probably be “transformation.” We teach so our students can transform the world-the transformed man, transforming the world. That transformational learning opportunity begins and ends with relationships. Our students will learn as much—if not more—from their peers as they will from the adults in the community. That does not mean the relationships they form as adults won’t also have a profound effect. Those relationships are powerful ways of molding and remolding our students.
As these young men become colleagues and fathers, they will always remember the relationships they strengthened in times of trial and times of joy at De Smet Jesuit. These relationships will have molded and remolded them into Men for Others as Dave Larson molded so many.