“Knowledge goes hand-in-hand with truth – something I learned with a bit of tough love from my Jesuit education first at Regis High School in New York City and then at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass.”
— Dr. Tony Fauci, from NPR’s “This I Believe” series in 2005.
In all the years I have lived here in the Triangle of North Carolina, I have been able to avoid answering the question regarding the two shades of blue and the red. When asked if I am a CAROLINA, DUKE or STATE fan, I usually respond that I like golf. Avoidance? Maybe.
But there is one rivalry that is a part of my youth, part of my high school days. I went to high school at Cathedral Prep on West 87th St. and West End Ave in Manhattan, a neighborhood known as the Upper West Side. There was this other high school, Regis High School, located at East 84th St. and Madison Ave., known as the Upper East Side. And Central Park sat between the two schools.
While in high school, I ran track, and one of the places we ran to train was the pathway around Central Park Reservoir, now known as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. It was there that we would see the track team from Regis High School training as well. Also, each day as I traveled by train and subway for about an hour and a half from my home in Yonkers into Manhattan, carrying my book bag (remember those?) with CATHEDRAL PREP emblazoned on it, there were these other students on those same trains with their book bags saying REGIS HIGH SCHOOL. In four years of riding those trains, never did we speak or sit near each other. The rivalry was as deep as the two shades of blue and red here in the Triangle. But all kidding aside, both high schools instilled in their students a high standard of learning and study that was also connected to a deep sense of service to others. They were each great high schools.
Dr. Tony Fauci, a voice of reason and integrity in our time, was a Regis High School graduate. During these times, I greatly admire Dr. Tony Fauci as he models for us what leadership looks like. His knowledge and no-nonsense truthfulness are treasures to us all. He has served as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, working with 6 presidents beginning with Ronald Regan. Over the years, he has shown an admirable ability to work within many different political climates while providing leadership in so many health challenges, most admirably the AIDS crisis.
His commitment is grounded and rooted in a deep faith. He is certainly a hero to me now as we walk through this COVID-19 crisis. As the quote above says, his knowledge will always go hand-in-hand with truth. And we need that now more than ever.
— Fr. George
Listen to or read Dr. Fauci’s “This I Believe” editorial from 2005 (embedded above). This week, NPR’s Fresh Air interviewed New Yorker writer Michael Specter about Dr. Fauci and his decades of public service, including his work during the AIDS crisis. For more parish resources and updates during the global pandemic, visit St. Paul’s Connects.Tags: From the Clergy, Hope for the Journey