Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I was musing the other night with my friend Ann, whom I've known since we were 14-year-old freshmen in high school, about the influence of our teachers at the School of the Holy Child. She prompted my memory of Mother Campion, who taught us not only Latin, but rigorous thinking. She took her name from Edmund Campion, a brilliant 16th century Jesuit scholar and martyr who had not yet been named a saint when she professed. In reading a brief biography of him, I understood why she would have chosen him. It was said that Campion had "bearing, beauty, and wit," and that "his preaching, his whole saintly and soldierly personality, made a general and profound impression."
Mother Campion was an imposing and substantial figure, demanding of us intellectual discipline and challenging us to question and analyze, not simply accept what we were told as passive sponges. At the same time, I remember her warmth and sense of humor. She believed intensely in our potential to be great women and pushed us to meet that potential. We were blessed to have her as a teacher.