When you think of St. Thomas Catholic Studies students you may picture them in the 5:05 Sitzmann mass or tending to the Blessed Sacrament in the Koch adoration chapel. Well now you can add St. Thomas Football Field. On Saturday April 28th Catholic Studies students and friends hit the field for the 7th annual Catholic Studies Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. The temperature was a cool 40 degrees with only a quarter inch of rain according the weather.com but most of the players and fans would attest to below zero temps and at least a foot of angel tears. Contrary to all of the hype surrounding the faculty team they were unable to attend because they didn’t want to get their argyle socks a little wet.
Written by Alison Coffman ’12, English Education and Catholic Studies
As a freshman I had big plans to major in Business Communications, maybe pick up a minor in Art History on the side, and eventually pursue a career in the corporate world. If someone would have told me that I’d end up majoring in English Education with a Catholic Studies minor, and that my first job out of college would be teaching in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I probably would have punched them out of disbelief.
Written by Paula Thelen ’12, Catholic Studies, Theology, and Secondary Education
This title of a 1972 National Conference of Catholic Bishops (now USCCB) document has truly become my educational philosophy over the years. It may seem a rather simple pedagogy in theory – the fact that Christ taught through stories that were relevant to His listeners, built community among His students, and courageously practiced what He preached – yet is not quite so easy to put into practice.
Yet last fall I gave myself over to early mornings (often as early as 5:20 am) and busy weekends grading papers in order to co-teach 90 freshmen girls Faith and Morality and 100 7th and 8th graders Church History and Language Arts. My school placements, both Catholic because religion is my subject area, were Convent of the Visitation in Mendota Heights and Epiphany in Coon Rapids, respectively
My experience with Catholic Studies has been more than an opportunity to grow in knowledge, it has been an incredible opportunity for formation as a person. I came into college with a faith that was founded on “heart-knowledge” of the Lord, but through Catholic Studies, and learning fundamental truths, it has allowed my faith to flourish with a new and rich depth. I am currently taking a course titled, “Faith and Doubt” which is both a Catholic Studies and Philosophy course. My experience in this class has been exceptional. It is never an issue of desiring to do the homework because I truly want to be learning the course material. The material not only inspires my personal faith, but allows me to gain a faith-filled perspective on life that is so significant in relating to others.
Written by Eryn Evander ’11, Business
Traveling for hours on a bus, sleeping on floors in close quarters, and engaging in servant leadership for nine days does not add up to your typical spring break trip. For 120+ UST students who went on the STLF (Students Today Leaders Forever) trip, however, that is exactly how they spent their break.
Being in the Catholic Leadership Interns had a big impact on how I viewed this trip. I was one of the trip leaders and having the formation of our Friday Interns meetings under my belt showed me that resilience and patience are central attributes in a leader. The most salient life-lesson that I learned from this trip is this: all things will not go according to pre-determined plans if you do not lead with God at the forefront. To be resilient when things go wrong that are beyond your control is no doubt an indication of a good leader. The ability and willingness to take responsibility for these things when you do not keep this in mind is another.
Written by Garrett Ahlers ’12, Philosophy and Catholic Studies
This upcoming weekend is the spring hiatus here at the University. I have a few friends who are heading down to Florida to spend a week on the beach. A few others that I know are going to New York to visit a mutual friend ours who joined the Franciscans a few years ago. Still others among my friends are heading out to do mission work in Honduras and Haiti. And for my part, I will be on a silent retreat for a few days in the wooded hills of Wisconsin.
Written by Kelsey Willits, Alumna ’11, current CSMA graduate student
At the midway point of my college years I realized that I had lost my love of learning. Rather than pursuing my studies for their own sake, I found myself fettered to the instrumentality of acquiring ‘A’s to adorn my transcript. School was becoming work, a mere mechanical production, quite contrary to true meaning of school, which, believe or not, is leisure. Yearning to be pierced by the wonder of the academic adventure, to enter deeply into the art of learning, I began the process of letting go of studying in order to do something and instead started pursuing it in order to become someone, that is, the woman that God calls me to be.
By the end of the fall semester of my senior year, I reached a point where the thought of not being in school the following year was next to unfathomable. My heart hungered to continue to partake of the feast of knowledge, to chew slowly on its delicacies, allowing the individual flavors to color the palate of my mind. I now find myself a third of the way through the Catholic Studies Masters Program and with yet greater gumption I continue to exclaim, ‘I love school!’ What am I going to do with it, I often get asked? I am not sure. Who am I going to become? I pray a better daughter, sister, friend, and, God willing, one day, an adorer of Christ in Heaven.
In the winter of 2010, my older brother harangued me into attending the Catholic Studies overnight, which was made complete with Monte Cassino. “You’ll get to meet great girls, and I’ll even round up a couple buddies to dance with you” he told me. Great, just what I need, my brother’s seminarian friends to be forced to show his little sister a good time. Reluctantly I attended, and he was right. The women on the Catholic Women’s Floor were so welcoming. They raided everyone’s closet to find me an outfit for the night, as I had come totally unprepared. The Catholic Men’s Floor made us “Brinner,” and I even found the courage to sing and dance to “Single Ladies” for the karaoke contest. To this day, people still remember me for that unexpected performance.
Last Friday night was the “2012 Catholic Studies Monte Cassino Night.” Named after the hill in Italy where St. Benedict first established his monastery, the evening is wrought with a black jack tournament, board games, door prizes, catered food, a mini bar and my personal favorite, the karaoke contest