Letter from the editor: spring break blues

By Mia Brounstein
Assistant Editor

It’s come to the point in the semester where previous events can be defined as B.S.B (Before Spring Break) or A.S.B. (After Spring Break).

Some of us look at all the time that has passed and rejoice at the nearness of summer. Others savor every moment spent with friends and dread the loss of community that comes with the semester’s end.

Everyone, however, seems to be experiencing a bit of exhaustion and restlessness as we enter into the final half of the semester. For some, spring break was a reprieve from these feelings, while for others, break could not have been less restful.

At Franciscan University, spring break is unique from other breaks during the academic year because such a significant number of students take their nine days of freedom in hand and journey across or even outside of the country to evangelize.

The stories that these students return to campus with is staggering; the joy and enthusiasm they often radiate is palpable. It’s clear that Franciscan’s mission opportunities are a gift for both students and those they minister to.

Interestingly, even after days of physical labor and intense emotional experiences, the students I talked who had gone on mission didn’t seem drained when they returned to campus. For many of them, ministry was rejuvenating.

With so many of my friends, classmates and household sisters having gone on mission, I almost feel embarrassed to say that I went home when I am asked how I spent my spring break. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

It’s easy to stare in awe at those who dedicated so much effort to traditional mission work during spring break. While the value of their work for the kingdom can hardly be overstated, it does not take any importance away from the mission field of the home that so many students returned to.

Certainly, many of us who went home over break enjoyed rest from our homework and the company of our family. However, transition is always difficult, and treating family members with patience and love is often incredibly challenging.

Frequently, it is the students who went home for the week who return to campus feeling as though they have fought a battle over break. They have fewer exciting stories than those who went on mission, but I would argue that the work they have done is just as valuable.

In his encyclical “Familiaris Consortio,” Pope St. John Paul II writes, “the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family.”

It’s clear that cultivating holy and loving relationships within the family is crucial work for the kingdom of God.

So, dear reader, wherever you spent your spring break, trust that that was your mission field. The real test is leaving campus—a spiritually fulfilling place for so many of us—and fighting to maintain our growth and fire when we are living off this little hill.