Opinion: Not all students should participate in household life

By Thomas Schmiesing
Staff Writer

Household life is a prominent part of the culture here at Franciscan University. Many students choose to participate in household life, as it enriches their spiritual lives through a combination of fraternity and spirituality. 

However, not every Franciscan student is nor should be involved in household life. 

First off is the simple fact that household life is simply not made for everyone.  

It is indeed a good thing to band together with our brothers and sisters in the faith and travel together on our spiritual journey. 

However, for some people, being in a household simply does not enrich their spiritual lives in the way it does for others and can in some cases distract them from pursuing true holiness.  

For many people, being in a household would be more of an inconvenience than a benefit to their spiritual life. 

For some people, being in a household would be redundant and pointless, as they already are part of some fraternal group where the people around them strive with them towards saintliness.  

A prime example of this would be sports teams, which (especially here at Franciscan) build up fraternity between their members and also emphasize the spiritual struggle of life on earth through prayer, mass and other things.  

For people part of groups like this, being in a household can be unnecessary and redundant. 

That is not to say that those on sports teams or in other such groups are unable to participate in household life. On the contrary, many do both, but it is not necessary for all to do so. 

A key element of household life are commitments. These commitments are times set aside by the members of the household in which they gather to pray, praise or do other fraternal, spiritually enriching activities.  

Some people, however, lack the time to set aside for these household commitments. Many people are involved in many other good, wholesome and enriching activities which render household life unviable for their schedules and their sanity.  

For these people, being in a household would be an undue burden, causing household commitments to become annoying and another chore to be completed. Thus, the benefit of being in a household would be ruined.  

Another key element to household life is its commitment to relationality – how its members are tightly bound together within their close-knit communities.  

Were all Franciscan students to become a part of household life, this closeness within the households would be drastically diluted, and a key element of household life would be lost. 

Members of households would feel more distant from their household brothers and sisters. In short, an over-expansive number of household members would undermine the essential fraternity of household life.  

Thus, for various reasons, household life is not meant for everyone, and therefore not everyone should participate in.