Jesuit-in-Residence: Georgetown Jesuit Ministers with an Open Door

Jesuit Father David CollinsJesuit Father David Collins has ministered to students in various ways during his time as a Jesuit-in-Residence at Georgetown University, but on this given day, it is as a master cookie baker.

From his room on the eighth floor of Village C West student residence hall, Fr. Collins hosts an open-door night, where students come in and out; some have circled up chairs in the living room. Many have tasted Collins’ cookie of the week: Portuguese Love Knots.

“The goal is never to repeat a cookie recipe,” Collins said, dressed in a red short-sleeved button-down shirt and jeans.

Conversation among the students shifts from the “Dora the Explorer” cartoon to excommunication. Collins says the approachable atmosphere is part of the learning experience for students.

In his role as Jesuit-in-Residence, he ministers to students, but also showcases the modern roles of a Jesuit at Georgetown: professor, researcher, chaplain and priest.

As part of his workload, he is organizing a panel for a conference on superstition, writing a book on Albert the Great, constructing a chapter on the late medieval church, editing a chapter of an anthology and analyzing a 15th-century text that has never been studied, all while mentoring several graduate students also pursuing their own projects.

Yet, the fusion of professor and priest can best be seen however during his homily in Mass to the mostly student congregation. Reminiscent of his classroom demeanor, Collins makes constant use of his hands, explaining the significance of sight as seen through Jesus’ healing of a blind man in the Bible.

“I can bring up heavy issues that cause people to question things, but [I] always end on a hopeful note,” he said. “Sometimes I do it better than others.”

For more about a Day in the Life of a Jesuit, visit The Hoya.

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