The beauty and vitality of a Catholic Studies education isn’t simply the intellectual growth through course work that a student encounters during their college years. The life of a Catholic Studies student is challenging, enlightening, eventful and, in the words of one student, “completely awesome from the break of dawn until well after the sun sets!” Yet every student has a different set of experiences, and no two are completely alike. There is unity in diversity in the life of a Catholic Studies student, a small-scale replica of the worldwide Church. In the pages that follow, you will read about the lives of various Catholic Studies students, based on their particular interests within Catholic Studies. You will meet recent Rome-returnee, Sara Kovach, who will tell you about her life in the Eternal City. Matthew Kuettel provides a daily look at the experience of a leadership intern, while Alessandro (Alex) Marchetti explains what it is like to live among Catholic men in the Catholic Studies Men’s House. Abigail Saffert provides a woman’s point of view within the Catholic Studies Women’s house, and Elizabeth Schmidt reveals insights into the Catholic Women’s floor in Dowling Hall. Nicholas Froehle counters with his description of life on the Catholic Men’s floor, and Brandon Miranda speaks to life as part of the Latino Leader program. Finally, you will meet Laura Carlson, a Catholic Studies and business double major, as she relates her day through the eyes of a mentee in the Professional Leadership Formation program.Following each of these students in a “Day of the Life …” format allows you to experience the unique diversity of a “typical” Catholic Studies student. What you soon will learn is that there is no typical experience but that the students are unified by their love of the Church and its practices, their appreciation for their Catholic Studies education and the common bond of caritas and philia that they experience day-in and day-out. They have a share in the common life of the Catholic Studies community, a general rhythm of goodness that permeates their social and intellectual pursuits.
Besides common classes, Catholic Studies students meet each other at numerous events like Monte Cassino night, an evening of light-hearted card games, karaoke and the now-infamous poker tournament. The well-attended talent show each December draws all kinds of acts, from group song-and-dance routines to solo piano compositions to comedic skits occasionally involving the fond characterization of favorite faculty and staff members. The monthly Community Nights, engage students in a well-rounded, holistic manner. The evening begins with Mass, followed by an academic look at a topic of interest, and ends with food and joyous conversations that last well into the evening. These three elements are also combined in the Disputatio, a disputation between two faculty members on a question of interest to students (such as “Are souls engendered?”), which is sponsored by the CSMA program and is routinely well-attended by undergraduate and graduate students alike. At the end of the day, the students are able to look back and say, like Brandon Miranda, “I look around and see the faces of many people. I listen all around and hear the voices of countless friends. I stare out at the world around me and I know I am where I was meant to be.” Each day is different for each student, some more intense and deadline-driven than others, but nonetheless united in a common bond of life in the Catholic Studies community.
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