Augustinian Friar Encourages Austin Prep Students To Believe

READING, MA — Rev. Raymond F. Dlugos, O.S.A., Ph.D., C. Psych., a Trustee of Austin Prep and Merrimack College’s Vice President of Mission and Ministry, shared thoughts from his 40-year Journey as an Augustinian Friar on Tuesday, March 6t 2019 as part of the St. Augustine Lecture Series. Father Dlugos framed his remarks within the context of this year’s theme at Austin Prep: “Presume Good Intent.”  His presentation was held in Meelia Hall before an audience of Austin Prep students, faculty, staff and community members.

Father Dlugos provided real-life examples when discussing the core Augustinian values of veritas, unitas and caritas.  He examined exactly what truth is and how it relates to one’s self worth.  He discussed how society views truth and how the definition of it has changed as the years have gone by with the emergence of “fake news” and “truthiness”.

He also addressed the concept of perfection and encouraged those in attendance to look positively at themselves despite perceived shortcomings. Interwoven with stories of his child and adult life, Father Dlugos described how self-acceptance is extremely important.  He also dispelled the myth that hearts are figuratively not made to be broken.

“We’re raised to believe that having a broken heart is a bad thing,” Father Dlugos said.  “Our heats are not meant to be wound tight, we are humans, all humans have feelings.  It’s perfectly fine to experience a full range of emotions, it’s okay to be sad or angry.”

At the conclusion of his presentation, Father Dlugos took questions from Middle School and Upper School students on a wide range of topics. Through personal examples and anecdotes, Father Dlugos encouraged students to follow their passion and use care when making decisions.  He shared his own personal story of pursing a doctorate in psychology at the age of 40 and how it shaped his outlook on life.

Named for Austin Prep’s patron, the St. Augustine Lecture Series which began in 2015, is designed to enrich the intellectual life of the school community by exposing students to accomplished individuals who share their experiences and lessons learned in life. Previous speakers were Brian Montgomery, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary in the Executive Office of President Bush and former Housing & Urban Development Secretary for President Obama, Major General Charles W. Whittington, Jr., the Deputy Commanding General of Operations in the U.S. First Army and Grace Cotter Regan, the first female president of Boston College High School.

Father Dlugos is a licensed psychologist in New York, a registered psychologist in Ontario, Canada, and a Roman Catholic priest ordained in 1983 for the Order of St. Augustine. He received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s degree from Washington Theological Union (MD), and a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University (PA).  He joined Merrimack College in August of 2008.

Father Ray Dlugos and Alexia Andrikopoulos
Father Ray Dlugos, O.S.A. was greeted by Student Body President Alexia Andrikopoulos ’19 of Reading prior to delivering remarks as part of Austin Prep’s Augustinian Lecture Series.

(NOTE: The above press release is from Austin Prep.)

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