New Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Griffith, Theology Teacher

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Mr. Paul Griffith who joined the theology department this fall.

Mr. Paul Griffith who joined the theology department this fall.

Mr. Paul Griffith will teach Peace and Justice and Freshman Faith Formation at Jesuit High School this fall.

 He will continue his more than 30-year teaching career.  Mr. Griffith had been teaching at Central Catholic since he moved to Portland in 2002, and has taught at other schools around the country. Mr. Griffith is thrilled to teach at Jesuit.

“I have deep admiration and affinity for the Jesuit tradition for Ignatian Spirituality,” said Griffith, “I have my masters in theology, and a lot of my favorite theologians have been Jesuits.”

Aside from teaching, Mr. Griffith is an avid mountaineer and a dedicated photographer. While he was on a trip with Outward Bound in North Carolina, a bolt of lightning hit a nearby tree, went up through the ground and struck Mr. Griffith. 

“I like to try to live life as fully as possible,” Griffith said. “One premise I like to live by, intellectually and spiritually, is the notion that just because you want something to be true doesn’t mean it is. Just because you don’t want something to be true, it isn’t. Also to not let fear control you and know when it’s time to overcome your fears.”

Full Interview Transcript

How long have you been in teaching? 

I have been teaching my entire adult life, so that would be around 30 years now.

Where have you taught prior to Jesuit?

In Portland, I taught at Central Catholic High School since we moved out here in 2002. I taught at a Catholic school in Atlanta, and I am originally from Florida. I began teaching English at a public school, and then I worked for a church. 

What classes will you teach this year?

“I will be teaching Peace and Justice and freshman Faith Formation.”

What excites you about teaching at Jesuit High School? 

I have deep admiration and affinity for the Jesuit tradition for Ignatian Spirituality. I have my masters in theology, and a lot of my favorite theologians have been Jesuits. 

What should the community know about you?

“I have very diverse interests and I like to try to live life as fully as possible. I am an avid mountaineer and professional photographer.”

I heard at the assembly that you were struck by lightning, can you tell me a little bit about that?

I was working with outward bound in North Carolina. We were up on a mountain ridge when a lightning storm came. I was a first aid guy, which is funny. The lightning hit the tree in front of me, went through the root and up my leg.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

One premise I like to live by, intellectually and spiritually, is the notion that just because you want something to be true doesn’t mean it is. Just because you don’t want something to be true, it isn’t. Also to not let fear control you and to be aware of your fears, and know when it’s time to overcome your fears.

I like the Henry David Thoreau quote, “ suck out all the marrow of life.”