Agape Latte: A Night with Gregory Madrid

BY Mayte Figueroa-Camilo

Staff Reporter

On the top floor of Linda E. McMahon Commons, a crowd of nearly 50 students, alumni, faculty members and visitors awaited Gregory Madrid, Assistant Director of Residential Life, as he walked over to the microphone stand.

Agape Latte featured Madrid’s talk, “We Already Have What We Seek,” on Nov. 29.

“It’s just a very laid-back event and a really awesome atmosphere that allows students to feel welcomed and that sense of belonging,” said senior Trevor O’Brien, an Agape representative.

It’s a student-driven coffeehouse speaker series that originated in Boston College and was later adopted by Sacred Heart in the fall of 2017, according to Campus Ministry.

“A lot of the topics are really centered around life’s journey. Each speaker brings their own perspective and their own faith,” said Graduate Assistant for Campus Ministry Justin Lee.

“What’s really nice about it is that it’s with faculty and staff members, so we see them in a day-to-day basis in class or in the hallways, but it’s nice to see them in a new light,” said O’Brien.

Madrid spoke of his life journey from an Accounting major to a Residence Hall Director at Sacred Heart and how he relied on his faith for perseverance and hope.

“Faith to me is believing in myself and know that God is looking out for me,” said Madrid.

Throughout college, Madrid was certain that after graduation he would work for an accounting firm, meet his life partner, and create a family by the age of 28.

“I learned that, while it was great to have a plan and goals, none of that quite turned out as expected,” said Madrid.

Though life after graduation was not a “happily ever after,” as Madrid explained, he still held on to his faith and remained positive for new opportunities.

“We choose so often to look for the bad signs, why something is not going to work as opposed to the positive signs,” said Madrid.

Through his personal story, Madrid hoped to encourage students to not feel disappointed when nothing seems to go as planned, but actively seek the good signs in life.

“So many times, we are looking for validation from friends and parents,” said Madrid. “We need to be validating ourselves and look inside us and say does this feel right, is this where I should be going.”

Madrid is now married with a 14-month-old daughter, and is Assistant Director of Residential Life.

“It’s where I am meant to be. I don’t have everything in the world, but I have enough,” said Madrid.

The end of the talk was followed by a period of discussion, which allowed the audience to ask Madrid questions and share their thoughts on his personal story.

“These events are designed to encourage students to discuss, question and learn more about faith and spirituality,” said University Chaplain, Fr. Stewart Edward.

“I thought it was really good about how he focused on staying positive and how it’s super easy to focus on the negative,” said sophomore Dana Sabatino.

“I had a plan going to college and my plan is falling apart in front of my eyes,” said senior Linh Nguyen, an Agape representative. “I am just trying to see how I could, like Greg, change my perspective or change the way I look at the things happening around me because maybe there are hidden signs.”

“That’s part of what this is about, to draw people into understanding that God wants to restore us and draw us into a relationship where we can share cool stories about how we are being transformed,” said Lee.”

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