NCSC's 25th Anniversary was this weekend at NYU. I would have been stupid not to attend, given my proximity and how incredibly significant the organization has been in my college life.
Getting there was an adventure. I left school an hour early (I don't teach that period of the day) and went straight to the train station in Wilmington. Friday was a touch of nasty weather for us north easterners -- I very nearly did a pratfall getting from the building to my car and the parking garage to the station, thanks to my zero-traction teacher shoes. Then I had to figure out the New York subway system to get myself from Penn Station to NYU. I will simply say this: the creators of the D.C. Metro will get an express train to Heaven. The schizzed out masterminds behind the New York subway will go elsewhere.
NCSC was actually chartered and founded at NYU's Catholic student center on March 16th, 1982, so we were celebrating the anniversary on the very day and in the very place of our beloved coalition's genesis. Bishop Peter Rosazza, our long time supporter and advocate to the bishops, said a beautiful Mass for us, and he was really the only person who should have said that Mass. Because of the structure and tradition of the Church, if any local bishops had attended, they would have had "dibs" on saying the Mass. The people in leadership were secretly grateful none did.
Jo Anna Madison (right), a dear friend and one of my favorite people ever, won the Kirchner Award for International Relations. This girl went to Geneva for us last summer and will go to Bangladesh in June to represent us at the International Movement of Catholic Students' bi-annual huge meeting. She also does a killer robot.
Joe Kirchner, one of the founders of this current manifestation of NCSC and son of the fellow Jo Anna's award is named after, joined us for the reception. He gave us a heck of an ego boost, talking about how proud he is of us and everything we've done with his organization. Between Joe and Bishop Peter, we kind of almost believed we had accomplished something as a group. Cheers to that.
The anniversary coincided with NCSC's annual UN Study Session, an event that draws more and more students every year. Most of those kids stayed at Fordham University's Rose Hill campus while a handful of people stayed with the Aherns, a family that has supported NCSC in every possible way, especially with their hospitality and warm hearts. Purely by chance (I swear), the people who ended up at the casa Ahern were the half dozen or so of us who were already pretty close. The Aherns' son, Kevin, is the current president of IMCS. his term runs out in June when the IMCS picks their new international team in Bangladesh. My hero and fellow NCSC EB '06 member Chris Malano is up for the position -- I'm really excited to see how that turns out.
Saturday, they closed out the Study Session with a summary and prayer, and that same posse wandered around the city for the day. While we somehow managed to miss the day-long St Patrick's Day Parade (what?!), we did make it to the Met, which kinda took my breath away and made up for the parade. Most importantly (and forgive the upcoming spike in sap), I spent the day with a good number of the many wonderful people I've met over the years in NCSC.
My first ever walk through Central Park, and the Met (amazing!)
Sunday, we went to St. Patrick's and Chinatown, where I bought a bright red designer impersonation scarf for 5 dollars. Then I hopped on my train and came back to Delaware.
I've not yet been able to articulate either how much I love the people I've gotten to meet and know through NCSC or how grateful I am for them and the experiences I've had with them. It's one of the ways God is most strongly and physically present in my day to day life.