Drinan's grades were consistent from his freshman year at Boston College up to his last year at Weston. He entered and left Boston College as an honors student, graduating cum laude, and left Weston with the same cum laude mark. Like many excellent students, he decided early that he was in the long run going to profit more from following his interests in extracurricular activities, most of which were intellectual, than from cramming for Latin oral exams. Unlike his peers, he ended his course having published articles in America and other national Catholic magazines. The record suggests that three things happened to young Drinan in the five years between his approaching ordination and his arrival at Boston College as a law professor. First, he finally broke out of the isolation of rural Weston into an international setting, one that he had requested several times and finally achieved. Second, he got the ego boost an ambitious young man needs by writing for The Boston Pilot, America, Commonweal, and the Catholic World. Third, these scholarly articles in the “popular” press planted the seeds for the ethical, moral, and legal positions he would take up more than a decade later.
Keywords: Father Robert Drinan, Jesuit priests, Catholic magazines, scholarly articles, ordination