• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

  • Jackie Ricciardi

    Staff photojournalist

    Portrait of Jackie Ricciardi

    Jackie Ricciardi is a staff photojournalist at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. She has worked as a staff photographer at newspapers that include the Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga., and at Seacoast Media Group in Portsmouth, N.H., where she was twice named New Hampshire Press Photographer of the Year. Profile

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There are 13 comments on Priest Shortage? Why a Surprising Number of BU Alums Are Entering the Catholic Priesthood

  1. Thank you for highlighting this beautiful story – it made me proud of my alma mater for the first time in years! I especially appreciate their intelligent remarks regarding the abuse scandal. It’s sad how the (undoubtedly horrific) actions of a relatively small group have cast shame on many Catholic believers, but they provide great rebuttals.

  2. My wife and I met at Newman House in 1989 and have fond memories of the friends we made and faith we shared. I am grateful to see BU’s media outlet recognize this gem of a ministry and all it has given to the people of God. What are the chances of seeing this in Bostonia magazine, or promoted by the university’s social media team, in recognition of a wonderful community at BU that goes largely ignored?

    1. Hi Matthew,

      Thanks so much for your comment and question. Yes, this story is in the fall Bostonia magazine, and our social media team is preparing to share it far and wide. Unfortunately, the magazine is experiencing printing delays due to the supply chain crisis. You should see the issue by the end of the month.

      All my best,

      Cindy Buccini

  3. This was alluded to in the article, but another likely cause of the great fruit of BU’s Catholic campus ministry is that they have four FOCUS (Fellowship Of Catholic University Students) Missionaries on staff! These young lay people are on fire for the faith and their witness to the love of Christ is powerful and compelling! I credit FOCUS Missionaries across the country with MANY of Catholicism’s recent vocations to religious life.

  4. You should check out the many Sisters who graduated from BU…..doing all sorts of education and work internationally, in the States to and for all faiths not just Catholics.

  5. As a BU graduate in philosophy as well as a Roman Catholic supporter of the Newman House, I feel totally driven to understand as best I can what the Church says about life and death. The key to this undertaking is the notion of soul, not only for human beings but for every form of life that needs to be aware of motion, change, and the passage of time–i.e., multicellular creatures from flatworms to blue whales. I believe that consciousness in this life results when God impresses on souls the experiences that correspond to their bodies’ brain states. The soul then forms an intention to act, whether to approach a meal, to flee from an aggressor, or to socially interact with a recognized friend. Depending on that choice, God alters the creature’s brain to carry out the desired activity. This theory of mine resembles the philosophy of Irish Bishop, George Berkeley, except that it accepts the reality of the physical world, which Berkeley denied. The theory has many valuable implications, such as what happens to souls after death, what the Kingdom of God will be like, how God shapes evolution, whether or not there could be extraterrestrial intelligence, how Earth is special in the universe, and much else besides. I thank BU for helping me at age 86 to still be thinking very hard about such matters and hope to have it out in a book soon. God bless you all, whatever your religion or system of beliefs.

  6. I have worked for another ministry at BU for many years and have been impressed by the BU Catholic community for years. Their love for God and for the students has been obvious. The Focus missionaries and previously the Brothers of Hope were great and committed to teaching from the Bible. I have been impressed. God bless them and their work for God.

  7. Shocked to see the SECULAR HARD LEFT BU CONGLOMERATE even tell this surprising yet exciting story,
    but why at the end of the magazine? . Sounds like forced tolerance in an predominantly anti-religious culture. Unfortunately the article focuses on the negative and infamous past of humans who were involved in the church and nothing of the overwhelmingly historical positive teachings and influence Catholicism has had over the centuries. Bostonian is an exceptional highly sophisticated publication and should show more diversity in its articles instead of focusing on the short term fixations of the current DISH OF THR DAY secular onslaught. Thanks Jackie Ricciardi and Rich Barlow for shedding light on the enlightened . How about a follow up focusing on some more positive things about Christianity for example how Saint Paul’s’ transformation inspired millions to take up the CROSS. ‘78 SMG

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