Posted by Justin, recent Catholic Studies graduate
As a Catholic Studies Leadership Intern for the past year, I have given the opportunity to develop my leadership skills while expanding my vision of the world. The Catholic Studies internship program seeks to instill principles of leadership in all of its members (29 of us total this year). After a year of study and training on the topic of Hispanic Catholicism, we traveled on a ten day Spring Institute to Peru to see how the Ecclesial movement, Sodalitim Christianae Vitae, has formed a clear vision of seeking “a better, more just, fraternal and reconciled world, committing themselves to the integral development of the human being”. It was an adventure in which my companions and I understood a new culture, made new friends across the sea, and saw the fruits of what a committed group, faithful to Jesus Christ and his Mother, can do to transform a culture with their daily lives and actions.
Fr. Michael Keating and Dr. Jonathan Reyes led our trip to the cities of Lima and Arequipa where we visited the “Soladit” formation houses for men and women, learned about the Incan people at the pagan temple of Pachacamac, and visited the Church of St. Rose and her resting place. We also spent time with students at the secondary education centers of San Pedro (for boys) and Villa Caritas (for girls), as well as the Catholic University of San Pablo. Through these schools, the “Soladits” hope to properly educate the entire person to lead the next generation of bringing about a society of Love. We visited the many social projects lead by the movement including many elementary schools and day cares for poorer children of Lima and Arequipa as well as centers for the handicapped of all ages, who would otherwise be left to their own devices. Perhaps one of the greatest highlights of the trip was meeting the founder of the movement, Luis Fernando Figari, who explained his vision of a better world through a truly Christian culture.
There was so much more that we did and learned during our time with the Sodalitium in Peru which will not fit in such a small blog entry; but I would like to extend my gratitude to our friends, Jose, Andres, Barbara and Carolla, who shared their time and lives with us. They proudly guided us through the Ecclesial movement to which they have devoted themselves, with the hope that their lives and actions will bring about a truly Christian culture of Love in Peru and throughout the world.