Final Agape Latte Event Shares ‘How the Light Gets In’


On Wednesday, April 13, SNC’s Agape Latte hosted their last program of the year with Dr. Thomas Bolin with his lecture titled “How the Light Gets In” at 8:30 p.m. in the Cassandra Voss Center. The event began at 8 p.m. and featured musical guest Elsa Aparneiks ’17, who played for a full house of attendees.

Dr. Thomas Bolin is a Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. Norbert College. Bolin began his talk by sharing a memory from when he was in third grade and his priest asked him if he was a “doubting Thomas,” like Thomas the Apostle, after who he was also named.

“This is a question I’ve thought about all my life,” said Bolin. “Are you a doubter or do you have faith?”

Bolin shared different three different stories from his past that related to this question, the first two of which happened during his time in grad school, and the third later in his adult life.

The first story happened at an Easter Vigil mass, where everyone was going up to the front of the church to have a candle lit.

“I was watching from the back of the church as a woman went up and got her candle lit, and she looked down into the light and her face literally lit up,” said Bolin. “I could see then that the woman was blind. That really hit me, this image of the woman that couldn’t see the light, literally rejoicing in the light of the candle.”

The second story took place at a church in Milwaukee, where the congregation was participating in mass. A homeless man entered the church and joined the line, but when he received his host he looked at it, and threw it back into the cup. “This hit me again. Here was a man who was hungry, and he didn’t get what he needed,” said Bolin.

In his third story, Bolin talked about when his three-year-old daughter was in the pediatric ICU with double pneumonia at St. Vincent Hospital, and how he found himself in the hospital’s chapel.

To finish his talk, Bolin shared lyrics from the song “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen: “There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

“I love what Cohen is saying. Our weaknesses are the places where growth happens, where grace happens,” said Bolin. “Our weaknesses are where the cracks happen, and how the light gets in. For a long time I was trying to be a person without cracks.”

Bolin went on to say that this light “is also inside of you, and shines out through the cracks.” He ended his talk by asking the audience: “Where are you broken? How does the light get into you? How does it get out?”

Agape Latte is a speaker series that features faculty and staff members sharing stories about the intersection of life and faith. For more information on Agape Latte, visit their Facebook page at or contact Campus Ministry at Watch for more Agape Latte programming starting next fall.


Dr. Bolin speaks to the audience at Agape Latte | Mary Holz ’18

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