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“How to be Compassionate:” Bolger reaches peers using the voice of a nun and healthcare worker

"I genuinely felt with the more I explored the word, the more of a compassionate person I became.”

January 23, 2021

Watch Leah Bolger’s EN101 Podcast HERE. (Leah Bolger)

“Hi and welcome to This Linganore Life, Episode 2003,” said EN101 student Leah Bolger. “I’m your host, Sister Edith Davis.” 

Leah Bolger, constructed her EN101 Project on the theme of compassion. 

Dual Enrollment teachers, Natalie Rebetsky and Mary Ellen Newcomb assigned their classes this project in order to encourage students to ‘use unspoken feelings and words’ to research a single concept for an entire semester. 

“I chose the word compassionate, because it was a term I wanted to have a better understanding of. The project motivated me to examine the word from different perspectives. I genuinely felt with the more I explored the word, the more of a compassionate person I became,” said Bolger. 

After weeks of essays, peer reviews, and discussion boards, Bolger was ready to become her persona of Sister Edith Davis and teach her peers on the concept of compassion. 

“From this project, I learned that compassion is a moral that the world needs more of today. With my podcast, I was able to understand where compassion thrives and how to cultivate it in my own life.”

For part of her podcast, Bolger examined the life of Mother Teresa. “After all, she treated the poor, looked after a leproid and fed the homeless,” said Sister Edith Davis (Bolger’s persona). 

In an interview with the real Fr. Jesse Bolger, a priest at  St. Joseph Fullerton in Perry Hall/Nottingham, Maryland,  they broke down compassion in a religious aspect. “Compassion comes from a Latin term, ‘com’ which means ‘we’ and ‘passion’ which means ‘to suffer.’ Therefore, compassion means ‘to suffer with another.’”

“This can be found in the Gospels, in the book of Matthew when it’s shown how they brought the blind and the lame to see Jesus. Part of a Christian baptism is to see others, for them to come as they are, feel their pain and not be indifferent to that,” said Father Bolger.  

Leah designed her persona to be Sister Edith Bolger, a Catholic nun who works in the healthcare field.

“I found that healthcare workers, along with religion, were the two most important motivators behind compassion,” said Bolger. “I thought that the image of a nun caring for the sick would help my listeners understand my topic on a more personal and emotional level.” 

“Students met and far exceeded my expectations! I am so very happy with the outcome,” said teacher Mary Ellen Newcomb.

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