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Agape Latte Presents Chris O’Donnell as This Year’s First Beanpot Speaker

On Thursday, September 29, join Agape Latte as it welcomes actor and Boston College alum Chris O'Donnell, ’92, to Robsham Theater for the Agape Latte Beanpot. As part of Espresso Your Faith Week, O'Donnell will discuss relationships, life, and resilience amidst the lights of Hollywood.

The student-run Agape Latte program at BC invites students into a comfortable space, such as Hillside Cafe, to relax and listen to faculty, staff, and school administrators share their stories about the role of faith in their lives. Karen Kiefer, Associate Director of the Church in the 21st Century Center, shares that “even though the stories are about the speakers, they’re for the students.”

Kiefer mentions that students loved the Agape Latte program so much so that they wanted to do more, and thus Espresso Your Faith Week was born.

According to Kiefer, Agape Latte members “wanted to take the idea, the energy, the spirit, the commitment, and the love of Agape Latte and light up a week to show students how they can see faith alive in their lives, and how they can see God working in their gifts.”

She suggests that these gifts could be found in the classroom, in athletics, or in conversation, and ultimately wants to know, “How do you ‘espresso’ your faith with your gifts?”

“Faith is a gift," Kiefer says. "We’re all filled with that gift and there’s a wonderful responsibility and yet opportunity to share it with others. That’s the spirit of St. Ignatius—men and women for others. How do we take our gifts and then be grateful for those gifts and then share them with others? I hope this week students get a chance to really think ‘what are my gifts?’ and ‘how do I share them with people?’”

These exact questions guided Agape Latte leaders when selecting Chris O’Donnell—of NCIS LA, Grey's Anatomy, and Batman and Robin fame—for this year’s Beanpot talk; he was chosen because of his strong faith, his connection with BC, his admirable family values, and ultimately the interesting life story that he has to tell. Kiefer wanted to know if O’Donnell would share a piece of his story with others, more specifically what keeps him going and how he stays grounded despite being in the public eye for most of his life. Hollywood is one of the most relentless businesses in the world, yet O’Donnell has found ways to remain unwavering in its midst. He succeeds in keeping his family a top priority despite his chaotic work environment.

Appropriately then, the talk on Thursday night will focus on resilience. According to Kiefer it will address the questions “How do you keep your life together in the backdrop of Hollywood? You’re up and then you’re down, but when you’re down how do you get up?” The resilience-focused speech is “a supersized Agape Latte. We take it out of Hillside Cafe, put it in Robsham, get the big speaker, and have the speaker do an Agape Latte but in a TED Talk type form.”

The Agape Latte Beanpot with Chris O’Donnell will take place this Thursday, Sept. 29 in Robsham Theater with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. Performances by Sexual Chocolate and Christian Rougeau of Juice will open the event at 7:15 p.m., and Chris O'Donnell will go on at 8:00 p.m. A BC ID is required for entry, and a livestream will be available for those who cannot attend.

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