Dr. Richard RayDr. Richard Ray

The Saint Benedict Institute will present the talk “What Do You Want? Pilgrimage and Desire in a Faraway Place” by Dr. Richard Ray, who is an author and member of the Hope College kinesiology faculty, on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. at Hope College in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

A video recording of the event will be made available online afterward on the Saint Benedict Institute website.

As explained in the talk’s description: “In asking his contemporaries what they wanted, Jesus points the way to an understanding of human beings as creatures ordered to desire. St. Augustine famously locates the center of our desire in the heart, and the proper object of our desire in God. But how well do we understand our desires, our wants, our longings? Not well enough, and perhaps not at all.” Ray will tell the story of how a sacred journey to a sacred place resulted in a sacred purpose: the reordering of his desires and the reshaping of his heart.

Richard Ray has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1982. He is a professor of kinesiology and provost emeritus, and also co-director of the Hope-Western Prison Education Program that the college operates with Western Theological Seminary.

In 2016, he completed a 500-mile walking pilgrimage on Spain’s Camino de Santiago. He teaches a Senior Seminar on pilgrimage, and presents on the subject to church and community groups. He is the author of two books on his pilgrimage experiences, “The Shape of My Heart: A Pilgrimage Remembrance” and “Walking Gratefully: A Camino Story.”

In addition to serving as provost (the college’s chief academic officer) from 2010 to 2016, Ray was dean for the social sciences (2008–10), and chaired the Department of Kinesiology (2003–08). He was the college's head athletic trainer, and developed the academic program in athletic training at Hope. He teaches courses in the athletic training program, First-Year Seminar and Senior Seminar.

The Saint Benedict Institute is a ministry of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Holland. It seeks to promote and nurture intellectual work done from the heart of the Catholic Church, to foster an ecumenical community of Catholic Christians and friends committed to the renewal of culture, and to aid in the formation of intellectually and spiritually mature Christians by making available the riches of the Catholic tradition to Hope College and the wider community. More information can be found at saintbenedictinstitute.org.

The event is co-sponsored by the college’s departments of kinesiology, religion, and world languages and cultures, and Fried Center for Global Engagement.

Audience members who need assistance to enjoy any event at Hope fully are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing events@hope.edu or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar

The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.