April 11, 2017 // Uncategorized

High school summer theological conferences announced

By Trish Linner

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is home to several Catholic colleges and universities. This summer, each of them will offer high school students the opportunity to attend a theological conference designed to deepen their faith and expand their knowledge. These week-long experiences are each unique, but all serve the goal of helping today’s students grow in their love for Christ and the world.

University of Saint Francis

USF’s summer camp, titled “Beauty Will Save the World!” takes place June 25-30 on the main campus near downtown Fort Wayne. Beauty Will Save the World seeks to broaden and enrich the theological understanding of students through the various ways beauty reveals God in the world.

The camp will explore five ways in which God is revealed through beauty: the beauty in the arts, including icons and icon-making; the beauty of the earth that God created, and our need to be good stewards of it; the beauty of serving the poor and suffering; the beauty of the human mind; the beauty of prayer; and the beauty of various religious and lay vocations.

During the camp, participants will learn about and explore different methods of prayer, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, contemplation, Lectio Divina and Sacred Meditation. They will have sessions with an iconographer and gain hands-on experience creating an icon. A visit to downtown Fort Wayne is scheduled, where they will learn about and volunteer at the Associated Churches Food Bank; and they will explore the beauty of the human mind through theological readings and interaction with University of Saint Francis professors from various academic disciplines. The students will also hear Catholic religious men and women and laypersons talk about their vocations. Other planned activities include visiting the St. Felix Catholic Center in Huntington, learning about solar panels, canoeing, a barbecue and campfires.

For more information email Director Dr. Adam DeVille at [email protected] or coordinator Drew Stuart at [email protected], or visit http://philosophy.sf.edu/summer-institute.

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame will host a summer conference, Notre Dame Vision, in four sessions: June 19-23, June 26-30, July 10-14 and July 17-21. The conference will include dynamic large-group experiences, reflective small-group time, liturgies and music. During each week, speakers from across the country will break open important themes and help participants relate them to their own lives, challenging students to expand their imagination and deepen their faith. Sixty-five Notre Dame undergraduates will serve as mentors, whether as musicians or small group facilitators.

Students will be immersed in the spiritually and communally rich environment of the university: There will be large and small-group settings to facilitate vibrant activities in prayer and conversations about real life issues. Notre Dame Vision will also explore vocations in the broad sense of the term: How is God calling us? How do our life choices reflect our Christian identity? A variety of callings will be considered during the week.

For more information about Notre Dame Vision, email [email protected] or visit http://icl.nd.edu/notre-dame-vision/learn-more/for-high-school-youth.

Holy Cross College

“Pray with Saints, Learn with Scholars, Heal the World!” will be offered at Holy Cross College during a summer conference slated to take place twice, July 16-21 and July 23-28. The Saints and Scholars Summer Theology Institute hosts this opportunity for high school students to have seminar discussions and share community-building experiences with students from around the country. The goal is to support the spiritual and intellectual growth of the next generation of leaders and challenge them to discover the kind of saint that they are called to become.

Students will be led through a course of study by the distinguished theologians of the Holy Cross Theology Department. They will participate in discussions and direct community engagement and encouraged to think deeply about how their faith relates to the big questions facing the world. Participants will have the opportunity to choose different tracks of study, including theology and human rights, theology and public health, theology and media, theology and science, theology and sports, theology and business, and theology and sustainability. These tracks will give them a chance to explore the specific topics they are most interested in pursuing in an in-depth way.

The leadership team of Saints and Scholars Institute is the core of both theology and campus ministry at Holy Cross College. Fourteen specially selected Holy Cross College students will serve as mentors for the conference attendees, alongside experienced Residence Life staff in the dorms. For more information contact Andrew Polaniecki at 574-239-8377 or visit http://www.hcc-nd.edu/section/academics/saints-and-scholars.

Saint Mary’s College

Saint Mary’s College will host a summer conference for young women, “Embody: Beauty, Justice, and Faith in Action,” July 9-14. The week-long conference will explore themes of beauty, justice and faith and explain how those themes relate to being a young woman of faith. Theological reflection will be led by outstanding faculty from Saint Mary’s College and beyond.

“It’s important to host this conference because our culture challenges young women in particular ways,” said Jessica Mannen Kimmet, program coordinator, Embody Institute. “At Embody, we give our participants tools to be confident in their own beauty, to enter relationships with people who are different from them and to transition to their adult lives of faith. We do all this from a theological perspective, affirming that participants are beautiful precisely because they are created, beloved and called by God. We strive to educate the minds and hearts of these young women in the tradition of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who have long been pioneers in the formation of women as leaders and theologians.”

Students will participate in interactive group sessions that examine issues facing today’s young women, and will be challenged to go beyond their comfort zones. There will also be opportunities for engagement with the South Bend community through service projects.

“Through opportunities for prayers and discernment, we hope that their journey inward to see the beauty in their heart is also what they’re able to offer to those around them,” said Judith Fean, vice president for mission and director of Embody Institute. “This (conference) is an opportunity for them to learn, to grow, to pray, to critically think about the needs and to respond.”

For more information email [email protected], call 574-284-5389 or visit http://events.saintmarys.edu.

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