Major Minor of the Month - December 2013
- Catholic Studies
As an English major in the honors program, I’ve also spent the past four years as a member of the Catholic Studies Minor community. While my initiation into the Catholic Studies program basically consisted of Fr. Bosco sitting me down in his office and, after finding out I was an English major and in the honors program, signing me up for the minor, I have since some to view it as one of the best components of my college years. Through the Catholic Studies program I’ve been able to connect with some great people (both in ministry and faculty) and make several close friends from the CS minor community as well.
Now in my fourth and final year, the Catholic Studies program has not just provided me with a set of classes to take, but given me a vehicle for personal growth and enrichment through various opportunities. I’ve been able to serve as a Teaching Assistant for a freshman seminar with Dr. Murphy, something that, as an English major (not an Education major), I never thought I would have the opportunity to do. I was also granted a research fellowship through the CCIH and am working with Dr. Caleb Kim from the School of Social Work. Dr. Kim is interested in how battlefield experiences affects Catholic soldiers--especially as they return to their families and faith communities-- and I get to help research these issue. As the daughter of WWII scholar, I couldn’t have chosen a better topic. I’ve even had the pleasure of being able to work closely with Fr. Garanzini personally when I moderated the recent “Catholic Q&A”-- I learned that he has a background in clinical psychology and that he makes homemade pear sorbet!
This year I’m a member of the Catholic Studies executive council, a role that the freshman sitting in Fr. Bosco’s office never would have imagined holding. I’m sure, had I not been a member of the Catholic Studies program, that I wouldn’t have even known about these opportunities, let alone be in a position to take advantage of them. The minor is unique from others in the sense that its goal is not merely educational and academic, but driven by the desire for multifaceted, holistic growth of the individual person. I’ve learned that LUREC is not only the place where the chickens live and the best food is served, but a space that consistently surprises me with the spiritual peace and connection I feel there. I’ve learned that running a Loyola Q&A involves the terrifying experience of making 6 boxes of mac’n’cheese in one pot and requires not only the ability to speak in front of others, but crank out a large quantity of grilled cheese sandwiches in a short span of time. I’ve learned that in the classroom, instructors of Catholic Studies courses are more concerned with our reflection and thought processes than they are with single, "right" answers; and that consult a wide scope topics and concerns when as they work through an issue.
Above all, the Catholic Studies program has given me the experiences and the tools that have helped me grow from the high school senior I was when I entered to the almost adult I am now--ready to take on whatever the real world throws at me next.