William Rooney - “Seeking integration toward the truth”


William Rooney

Wills Rooney studied for an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion at Maynooth University during the 2016-2017 academic year through the George J. Mitchell Scholarship. Prior to this, he graduated from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he ran cross-country and track & field and wrote regular columns for the student newspaper. In July 2017, he will enter the novitiate for the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph (the Eastern Province of the United States) and begin formation toward becoming a Dominican bother and a Catholic priest.

Moving to a new place to begin a new stage of life is such an interesting experience because it requires asking important fundamental questions about oneself and arriving at practical answers: how am I going to live? What kind of friendships am I going to seek? What will I do in my spare time?

As Aristotle taught in his Nicomachean Ethics, these questions must always be answered in light of the ultimate goal of life, which is to live for the truth. And when we do indeed live for the truth, our lives become integrated: the various things we do fit together almost seamlessly as our work, play, friendship, and prayer complement each other and conduce toward a life of abiding fulfillment.

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It is with great gratitude that I can say I have loved my transition to Maynooth, Ireland, over these last two months as I have adjusted to a new country, school, and environment and as my life has developed an integrated, liturgical rhythm in service to the truth. On a typical day, I will rise at 6:30, head across the street to the South Campus of Maynooth, the home of the National Irish Seminary, and join the seminarians for lauds, meditation, and morning Mass. Around 8:30, I then return to my apartment to eat breakfast and to prepare for my classes in philosophy of religion, which has included modules ranging from medieval philosophy to conceptions of the human person from antiquity through the Renaissance to the philosophy of the 20th-century martyr St. Edith Stein/Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

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Later, usually after having gone for a run (the itch of being an alum of Duke’s Cross Country and Track team definitely needs scratching!), I return to the seminary at 6 for vespers and the Rosary and then have dinner with friends or in my apartment before finishing up some reading, reciting compline, and retiring for the night.