Home > Explore SVC > People of SVC

SVC Spotlight

christopher_mcmahon
Dr. Christopher McMahon
Associate Professor of Theology
As a member of the faculty, I really appreciate the sense of community at Saint Vincent. We really do suffer with one another in sorrow and rejoice with one another in success. My colleagues in the Department of Theology are always working to improve their teaching or develop their scholarship, but it’s all done in an atmosphere of mutual support and celebration. Unfortunately, such an environment is far too rare in the academic world.

One of the most important features of life at SVC has been the students with whom I have worked. While I know that I have helped to shape some important experiences for my students (service-learning experience, missions trips, internships, research projects, conference presentations, editorial work, etc.), the impact students have had on my life and on my way of thinking has been equally important. For example, the students who have traveled to Guatemala with me have borne unique witness to the depth of compassion and the serious work ethic of the students here at SVC. One student, Olivia Sharkey, has even gone so far as to return to Guatemala to work as an intern with the school in the garbage dump community in Guatemala City. Emily Morris, the co-captain of the women's tennis team has demonstrated incredible diligence in her work with the community while guiding one of the most successful teams on campus, even as she plans and executes VBS for her church and leads young people on a mission trip to Peru in the summer. Julie Pomerleau, has demonstrated unmatched leadership in campus ministry, in catechetical programs in local churches, and she still insists that she needs to do more by volunteering to spend the entire summer running a camp on a reservation in North Dakota. I do not have the space to tell the stories of Lucas, Jordan, Jack, or Ashley, but these are the stories with which I am most familiar, and other members of the community can testify to the strength and charter of our students with similar stories. Saint Vincent is a special place because of these wonderful people, and I am blessed to share this moment in their lives where they have come to know the work to which God has called them.

My most memorable event was when I was with a group of students working in the dump community in Guatemala City, and we had just visited the home of one of the families whose children attended the school at which we were working. We had spent some time in prayer with the mother who feared her neighbors and asked us to pray with her. After we left the house, one of the students with me, Michael Pater, turned to me and said, “That just blew me away, seeing how she lived, how grateful she was, and how appreciative she was for our work and our visit. I’m just blown away.”

Quote: "Education is not a commodity to be purchased; it is a process of transformation to which you must dedicate yourself. Make the most of this time in your life, and engage in activities worthy of your time and talent."