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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

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Finding their Faith and Community

By John LeComte

For 15 UD students, their Vocation and the Arts class that began in January is still in session.  Yes, classes for the Spring term have ended, but the culmination of this class continues in Italy with a pilgrimage from Assisi to Rome.

"I've been on this trip for 12 or 13 years, I've lost count," says Sister Angela Ann Zukowski, MHSH, D.Min, instructor for the course.

"Visiting sacred sights, encounters with Franciscans, and theological reflection each night is enlightening for our students."

Brother Tom Wendorf, S.M., is accompanying Zukowski on this year's trip, which helps students understand the mission. 

"I embraced the silence of a small Assisi chapel with Brother Tom (Wendorf) and we prayed with the Franciscans," said junior Mark Weyler.  "I love finding God in one on one prayer, but today I was reminded by the true power of God in people,” 

"Visiting the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi inside the Basilica really spoke to me," said junior Morgan Day.  "I’ve always been told that we are all called to be saints.  Sitting in front of the tomb the spirit reminded me that we all have a calling. Today, I was inspired and aspire for sainthood myself.”

 “This is all about human connection for me, " said Weyler. 

"Faith is not something we can do alone, we need the people around us, we need community."

And that is what UD is all about.

Next stop for the group is Rome. The Chaminade Scholars Program is an opportunity for interested Honors students to deeply explore faith, reason and vocation in an interdisciplinary  community.   Sr. Angela Ann is the Director for the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives and a faculty member in religious studies, teaching ASI 357, Vocation and the Arts, as well as other courses for undergraduates and graduates. The Institute oversees multiple programs including online FAITH FORMATION courses through VLCFF.UDayton.edu.

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