At Trinity College, the largest college of the University of Cambridge, all students sign a matriculation book at the beginning of their studies. Ascending the stone steps of the library designed by Sir Christopher Wren, I was guided by a librarian to my name only after being shown the place where Isaac Newton signed so many years ago.
Simultaneously humbling and inspiring, these sorts of traditions mark my daily experience of Cambridge and doctoral studies. After a Great Court run (the run made famous by the movie Chariots of Fire), we the new students donned our academic robes and gathered in the dining hall at long wooden tables lined with burning candles for a feast.
Though the event was itself extraordinary, the master of my college summed up the evening with a couple of toasts and an address. His advice was simple and straightforward. Great minds have thought and dialogued here. He told us first that we walk in their footsteps; secondly, that we should get to work. To be certain, he explained, we only have a few short years to make a contribution to knowledge. And, knowledge changes the world.
It is out of this call to be a religious and priest that God, through Holy Cross, has chosen me to study. This means that not only am I studying to make a contribution to knowledge, but I am studying in order to understand our faith more fully. That’s what theology is: faith seeking understanding. And a contribution to this understanding, which does take a lot of work, is one that can be preached, taught, and can be useful to others on their journeys to life with our Lord.
Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C., professed final vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross on August 30, 2009, and then was ordained to the priesthood on April 10, 2010. After two years in parish ministry, he won one of the prestigious Gates Scholarships and went into doctoral studies in theology at Cambridge University. He is one of over a dozen Holy Cross priests in the United States Province pursuing advanced degrees to better serve as educators in the faith. Learn more about the work of Holy Cross in education, as well as hear from some of the other Holy Cross priests in advanced studies.