Dear Saint Anselm Community,


Let’s be honest: this has been a complicated and challenging year. COVID, a racial reckoning, climate change events, supply chain issues, economic turbulence, and, oh, did I mention COVID?  As if all of these challenges were not enough, each of us had personal and family transitions and losses.

In the face of all of this, celebrating Thanksgiving could seem like whistling in the dark or an act of stubborn forgetfulness. For me, I prefer to think that celebrating Thanksgiving this year is a defiant act of hope and gratitude. Certainly, those of us who have escaped most of the national and personal challenges are thankful. But our thankfulness must push us beyond our individual experience. As Anselmians we must be thankful for the opportunity to raise our eyes and assist others who have not been so fortunate. We see this in our offering of Thanksgiving baskets, in caring for the sick and grieving, and providing small gifts to children who yearn for the miracle of Christmas. As we gather together to celebrate a meal in the days ahead, let it be a reminder that Thanksgiving is for us and beyond us.

Paddy and I wish you days of food and family in this time of Thanksgiving recess. In the words of the poet, author, and moral prophet Maya Angelou, “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.”


Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D.