Directing our energy and attention to God
Dan Healy, ’05, reflects on what Jesuit education means to him
We live in a culture in which we are driven by social pressures to focus on the self—from our physical appearance and our last social media post to our annual salary, the people with whom we associate, and our journey with self-identity.
The Jesuit educational philosophy and every single Jesuit axiom I have encountered are in direct contrast to this “me” culture, instead directing our attention and energy to God and His people.
Having spent most of my teens and twenties as a student and educator in Jesuit institutions, no other singular experience has had a more formative impact on my life and the world in which I live than Jesuit education.
As I reflect on my Jesuit education at Loyola University Maryland, my memory does not take me to the classrooms where I studied, the dorms where I lived, the fitness center and athletic fields where I played, or the parts of Baltimore I explored, but to the faces of those who were instrumental contributors to my formation as the husband, father, friend, and professional I am today.
I see Fr. Tim Brown, S.J., shattering our preconceived notions about the world in an introductory freshman elective (all with a smile on his face). I see Dr. Roger Kashlak connecting with each student in the classroom by identifying a street name or storefront that he knew from their hometown. I see the Evergreens I worked with in planning summer orientations for incoming students. I see the friends I made at Loyola challenging and supporting me and one another—friends who, ten years after graduating, are now family. Finally, I see my wife’s face the first time we met during our senior year.
These people brought their talents and their love into my world, molding me into a better person. As an alumnus of Jesuit schools, I am charged with doing the same for others.
The Jesuit experience has shown me that the depth to which we study our fields of interest should only be paralleled by the depth to which we experience other people. I have learned that it is people through whom God speaks to us, and it is through people that we can glorify Him.
Now a public school teacher and coach with two children, my Jesuit experience is in the students I teach, the players I coach, and the daughters we raise. I may not always communicate that my daily actions and decisions are intended for the greater glory of God, or that in my profession I aim to educate and care for the whole person, but those are truths deep in my heart, the strong truths I strive to live well each day.
Daniel Healy lives in New Jersey, where he is head coach of the men’s basketball team and a mathematics teacher at Summit High School. He and his wife, Lindsay Tracey Healy, who also graduated from Loyola in 2005, have two daughters.