Three Questions is a recurring feature in STM Magazine. In the Fall issue, Cristina Otero '21, a pre-med student, asks Kristopher T. Kahle, M.D., Ph.D., three questions: one about academics, one about faith and one about leisure. Dr. Kahle is Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics; and, Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He is also Director of Neonatal and Congenital Anomaly Neurosurgery in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Yale.
ESTEEM (Engaging Students to Enliven the Ecclesial Mission) is a program that prepares students for leadership in their future parish communities. As part of the program, each student participant is matched with a mentor from the STM community whose life pathway and professional experience align with the aspirations of the student. Throughout the student-mentor relationship, mentors provide guidance to students as they grow in their faith, face challenges and set life goals.
Christ’s humanity constantly reminds us that, amidst all of our faults and shortcomings, we are not alone as we navigate through our struggles. At the onset of this school year, we defined a framework upon which the objectives of our student-mentor relationship would be based. Balance in life, we recognized, allows for a fuller experience of faith. By identifying four areas of focus—religious, intellectual, personal and physical—we agreed on strategies for use in achieving an equilibrium amongst these four pillars.
One chilly fall afternoon, a group of undergraduate men went to the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in Guilford, CT, where nuns live a life of prayer and communion. Attracted by the serenity of the place, these men retreated from the business of student life to spend their time in prayer and service. Armed with an ax and gloves, they chopped and stacked wood for the coming cold season—a great help to the nuns as they prepared for winter’s frigid temperatures.
Standing at the foot of the Chapel’s altar, my sponsor’s (and fellow graduate student) hand on one shoulder, the Bishop’s hand on my forehead, I took the confirmation name: St. Jeanne de Chantal. She is the patron saint of the forgotten.