On the Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, the College welcomed the incoming class of 2022 and other new students as they returned from their Orientation in the White Mountains. Orientation for the 36 students began on Sunday, August 26th and continued until Wednesday. The new students commenced Orientation with lawn games and a festival evening meal.
Early Monday morning after Mass, they reflected upon Nathaniel Hawthorne’s eerie tale “The Ambitious Guest” with President Fahey. “Although Hawthorne himself could not follow his daughter Rose’s path to the Catholic Church, he remains a wise guide for Catholics,” remarked Fahey. “This story, in particular, forms an excellent meditation on the Final Things and one’s vocation.”
After the talk, the new students, faculty, and staff—bolstered by a large number of upperclassmen who returned to assist with Orientation—left for the White Mountain region. After traveling through the Franconia Notch, the first stop was to ascent Mt. Willard from Crawford Junction. There they surveyed the site of the Willey House disaster and the grandeur of the Granite State’s Presidential range.
The journey was framed this year by new Natural History guidelines and worksheet—as part of the College’s restored Natural History course, now expanded to two semesters. The students were called to learn the various forest zones and three of the major natural communities found in southern, central and northern New Hampshire, and have a crack at identifying the flora and fauna of the mountain region.
From their based camp on Pine Mountain near Gorham, TMC groups struck out on a number of adventures. Some ascended Mt. Washington, but prudently skirted the gale force winds and climbed instead to Boott’s Spur, overlooking the Tuckerman Ravine. Others enjoyed lowland lake walks at the base of that King of the Presidential mountains. Evenings were filled with folk singing, campfires, and—of course—S’mores. John McCarthy, Fellow and teacher of classical astronomy, engaged faculty and students in stargazing as well.
This year, Fr. Matthew Schultz, who found his final vocation at Thomas More College several years ago, was our chaplain. Fr. Schultz presides over several parishes in the North Country. On the first night, he offered the holy sacrifice of the Mass in the mountains. Students also prayed Rosary and the liturgy of the hours on the chapel rock cliffs near Pine Mountain. On the last day faculty, staff, and students journeyed to the newly restored shrine of Our Lady of the Mountains in Carroll, New Hampshire for their closing event. After Mass, the students returned to campus to meet the upperclassmen, register for the Fall semester, and begin the first classes.
Please enjoy some pictures from the weekend below.