Scot Landry Presents a Memorable, Virtual Holy Week Hall

As people around the world stay in their homes this month to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is perhaps fitting that Christians have been observing Lent—a time when it is commonplace to “give something up,” to sacrifice, and to prioritize reflection. The time we are living through is unprecedented and unspeakably difficult for so many. But at the end of Lent is Holy Week, and there is perhaps not a more hopeful metaphor than that.

Roxbury Latin’s (virtual!) Hall speaker this week—to share his reflections on Lent, Holy Week and Easter—was Scot Landry. Mr. Landry serves as co-leader for the Dynamic Parish Initiative at Dynamic Catholic, an organization providing resources to the Catholic Church in America. He has served in a number of leadership and consulting positions for Catholic organizations, including the Archdiocese of Boston, where he was Cabinet Secretary for Catholic Media and Cabinet Secretary for Institutional Advancement. He has committed his time and talents at St. Paul’s Choir School, Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic Voices USA, and as a strategy consultant and executive search professional for Catholic ministries. He is also the father of two RL boys—Christian (I) and Dominic (V). Central to RL’s mission and tradition is tending to the spiritual growth of our boys, and we hear frequently from speakers throughout the year about topics of faith, spirituality, and living with purpose. In these challenging times, these topics seem all the more vital and pressing.

Mr. Landry explained to the students that, growing up, he went through “the religious motions,” as he called them. He practiced through attending church with his family and observing holidays, but he always had one question looming in the back of his young mind: “Isn’t faith boring?” In college, however, his faith began to deepen—he moved from going through the motions to “awe and wonder”—and he learned to embrace and even lean into his doubts about his Catholic faith. His life of spiritual exploration, in other words, began to take shape. As Mr. Landry spoke to the RL community about the meaning and traditions of Holy Week, he described the many massive claims that Christianity makes, from immaculate conception to walking on water to resurrection. “Bold claims,” he said, “are never boring.”

Mr. Landry encouraged students, faculty, and staff to ponder the mysteries of faith, to reflect on its key questions, and to spend time cultivating our “soul knowledge.” This is separate from “head” or even “heart” knowledge, he told us; it is the knowledge of faith. This month seemed the perfect time for this Hall and this call for inner exploration: as we navigate a situation so completely out of our control and are met with newfound time in our homes, nurturing soul knowledge seems within our capacity and more important than ever.

View Mr. Landry’s entire Hall presentation here, which includes predictably powerful questions posed by RL boys.