As a lover of all things Irish and Irish movies, I remember a line from the movie Three Boys and a Girl from County Clare where the actor Bernard Hill who is leader of a ceili band turns to his young protege who is played by Andrea Corr and tells her that as long as she has music, she will never be alone. 

People can feel alone these days. And isn’t it sad since there are so many people looking for company? But we seem to go out of our way to make life as impersonal as possible.

You Will Never be Alone

It is not a new thought, but it did strike me as poignant. I have known musicians and when they get together, there is lot of chemistry. And for many of them, music is more than a calling, it is more like breathing. They need it and are devoted to it. And they love to experience it with others. Musicians are good comrades.

We are not all blessed with talent and many of us can’t even hum a tune. But I was reminded by an article on National Sisters Week that was linked to my alma mater, Benedictine College of Atchison Kansas, that being alone is never something that we need to suffer if we have friends in faith. The article was written about Sister Cecilia Olsen and it mentioned a discussion sister had with her dad on the day she entered the Benedictine community of sisters:

The day I entered the community, my Dad hugged me and said: “There are two things I want to tell you: 1) If you decide to come back home, that’s fine; 2) If you stay, the thing that will make me the happiest is knowing that you will never be alone.” With the years, I have become much more aware of the wisdom of his words: “…you will never be alone.” This “school of the Lord’s service” has been for me an ordinary and extraordinary way to seek and discover God – never alone, but in company with my Benedictine sisters.

Nowadays, we can look at the way people communicate–mostly by texts it seems. We can see many people avoiding each other outside their own home. Take a look at the “take home” lines at Portillos each evening or the people who rush off to work with take-out in the morning rather a breakfast at home or a stop at the dinner. In many cases people have had perhaps the longest conversation of the day at the grocery store or the convenient store. And yet, we continue to eliminate those conversations in the name of cost savings or cheaper prices.

There are many businesses today that make it possible to travel without having to talk to reservations, conduct business online with phones in which you never talk, and each day someone is trying to take it all to the next level.

We Need to Communicate because We are a Village

I think sometimes it takes a village, well to be a village. We need to pay attention to each other. Conversation can seem so limited. Sometimes it is only when we have a huge snow storm or a damaging thunder storm when people get conversational on your block.

We try to promote the good at Often good comes from trying to help someone and it often requires getting to know them and communicating with them. In our new book called Worthwhile Struggle there are plenty of  stories of communication and sports and faith.

Cameron and Faunce

We have the story of James Cameron who as an African American young boy was with a few older boys and was implicated in a murder. He was rounded up and about to be lynched when he was saved. Cameron went on later in life to make the most of his second chance and fight discrimination.

Then we have story by Frank Faunce who remembers his dad telling he and his brother the story of Cameron.  Faunce’s father, an athlete, told him that there are times when people have to stand up to the mob. Faunce explained how he had taken the noose off Cameron and walked him back to the jail out of harms way.

Sister Jean and the Loyola Basketball Team

We also have the story of Sister Jean of Loyola in Worthwhile Struggle.  Sister Jean taught at Mundelein College and it was merged into Loyola University. Sister Jean was past retirement age when her BVM order sold the convent she was living in and she was asked to return to the Motherhouse in Iowa. Although Sister Jean was in her 80s, the then-President of Loyola University, Father Michael J. Garanzini, asked her to stay on.  She continued to serve the students of Loyola as Chaplain of the Basketball team and more. And when she became a media sensation, she didn’t stop talking to people and continues to serve others.

We also include another side of the Sister Jean story by briefly describing the Loyola University’s 2018 basketball season in which Sister Jean and the team went on to the Final Four. The notoriety was handled with patience and grace, but Sister Jean, Coach Porter Moser, and the Loyola Ramblers.

Bob Cousy and Father John Brooks

Also in Worthwhile Struggle, we include the brief highlights of Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy who was an honorable man and teammate in tough racial times. And then we talk about Cousy friend Father John Brooks who while at the College of Holy Cross at the time of the King assassination, went out on a recruiting mission to bring more black students to the campus.  His recruits are impressive.


Loneliness is a Waste

In all these situations, the times called for people to reach out and help and guide each other. Situations can call for great courage. But we need to support each other. When we offer each other support, life does not seem so lonely.