August 21, 2019 Duration: 34:25:00 Guests: Madalyn Sullivan; Will Gately; Emily Zimmerman
Listen Listen to “Becoming a Student of Faith” on Spreaker. Episode Description
We continue our conversation about faith and religion in the school setting with Emily, Will, and Madalyn, three students attending Catholic universities. All three students also recently completed an internship with Catholic Charities. We will uncover how attending a Catholic university has affected/benefited their religion, details about volunteering, and what faith and spirituality look like on campus.
“It’s been really special for me to feel like there’s a community of people my age who are also Catholic, because before college I didn’t really have that.” – Madalyn Sullivan
For more information on Catholic Charities, please visit: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.
Chris Dwyer: [00:00] Welcome to Following Francis. I’m Christopher Dwyer. We are recording at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy land. It’s often referred to as the “Oasis of Peace” here in Washington D.C. So, I encourage you, if you’re visiting D.C. To come by and see the Monastery. Today we’re picking up on our theme, faith on campus. Joining us today. We have three college students, who are just finishing up an internship with Catholic Charities and we’re going to discuss how their experience at Catholic Charities has influenced their life and impacted their life on college campus. We have Madalyn Sullivan, we have Will Gately, and Emily Zimmerman. So why don’t we start Emily, why don’t we start with you and where are you currently going to school?
Emily Z.: [01:00] So, I’m a rising junior at Loyola University, Maryland. I’m majoring in global studies with a focus in conflict justice and human rights and I’m minoring in theology.
Chris Dwyer: [01:11] Madalyne, how about you?
Madalyn S.: [01:13] Hi, my name’s Madalyn Sullivan. Thanks for having us. I am a rising junior at Villanova University and I’m majoring in sociology and peace and justice.
Chris Dwyer: [01:22] And Will, what do you study and where?
Will G. : [01:24] I go to Marquette University and I study mechanical engineering.
Chris Dwyer: [01:29] How did you three wind up at an internship with Catholic Charities?
Will G. : [01:35] I can start cause I’m probably the furthest out from actually doing kind of something study major related. Catholic Charities was not really something that I was looking at the beginning of kind of internship looks and job looks, just because I was looking for something, you know, mechanical engineering related, but I went to a career fair and the line for one of the engineering boosts back to me all the way up to the Catholic Charity booth. And I watched them give their pitch to somebody else. So when I got through the line, I had just walked back to the booth and I got some materials on it and then I ended up, you know, just figuring out that I wanted to kind of look at that and do that for my summer instead of, you know, something else.
Chris Dwyer: [02:17] Sounds like that line was planned for your life? Wow. Emily or Madalyn?
Madalyn S.: [02:23] Kind of actually the same thing as Will. I went to the same job fair that he did at Gonzaga High School in D.C. And I made all the rounds to all the tables and towards the end of the night I ended up at the Catholic Charities table and got the flyers and I applied that week and it just, it happened. Yeah.
Chris Dwyer: [02:41] Emily, same thing?
Emily Z.: [02:42] No. So, I was on the internship hunt in the D.C. Area. I’m not from around here, so I wanted to be here for the summer and I was looking at policy internships, but I was having no luck, getting no interviews. I just didn’t know a lot about how to apply for jobs really. And the person in outreach at Catholic Charities emailed my campus minister and so he sent a blast to all of the interns in campus ministry at school. And I was like, why not? You know, I’m not having any luck anywhere else and they were actually the only internship to accept me. So.
Chris Dwyer: [03:19] And what kind of work were they asking you to do? Where they, was it open, were there multiple jobs available?
Emily Z.: [03:25] So there’s, there were jobs in almost every department and Catholic Charities. I was working in the Volunteer Services Office, and I was working on so many different things. I did a lot of like advertising for different volunteer events. I did a lot of database management for our big dental clinic that they do in September. They try to serve 1,200 people with free dental care over three days. So it’s a big operation to put together. Madalyn and I did a lot of different stuff revolving around homelessness in D.C. So yeah, it was a little bit of everything. I got my hands into a bunch of different departments in Catholic Charities, which was cool.
Chris Dwyer: [04:00] So you’re seeing people’s faith in action there. You’re seeing what folks, when they apply their faith, what it looks like out in the public. Is that what you saw, Will?
Will G. : [04:08] I worked in a different department. I was in the financial stability network, which was interesting. It was, that was a bit more of a, we kind of focused on financial education around D.C. and Southern Maryland. Kind of the areas that Catholic Charities of D.C. helps. And it was super, super interesting because I don’t, I honestly didn’t know that much myself. Even about financial education, stuff like how credit works, how you know, how to set up a bank account, what interest does, how to pay off a loan, which is just things that people kind of around D.C. just aren’t aware of. It’s kind of like a very under-educated area in terms of how to deal with like kind of personal finances. So it was really interesting, kind of making and looking at education materials and marketing materials to help people, kind of be able to finally learn about how to manage finances.
Chris Dwyer: [05:07] As, you know, that the whole past few podcasts that we’ve been doing has focused on young folks and the practice of their faith. And it’s interesting all of you wound up at Catholic Charities. Has that impacted your faith at all?
Madalyn S.: [05:21] I think it’s impacted my faith in that I’ve never really thought of my faith in a professional setting before. So it’s been really interesting to work with like the principles of Catholic social teaching behind what we do. So that’s been really interesting and just something that I hadn’t considered before doing this internship cause I don’t really plan to do a Catholic related job, but this kind of made me realize that that is a possibility.
Will G. : [05:46] Kind of the way that Catholic Charities has kind of helped form that. I’m kind of a big fan of the outreach side of the Catholic Church kind of going out and doing things, helping communities, regardless of who they are. Just, you know, kind of going out and helping others. And that’s kind of what Catholic Charities does, is it just kind of extends as far as it can to help as many people as possible. And that’s something that I just really like about the church. It kind of helped me grow in the faith a little bit. Just that, you know, helping people and going out and doing things for them.
Chris Dwyer: [06:21] The faith in action.
Will G. : [06:22] Right.
Chris Dwyer: [06:23] Okay. All right. Emily?
Emily Z.: [06:25] I would say that my faith almost informs my career decisions and like kind of where I want to head towards my career and being at Catholic Charities this summer kind of showed me my career options and how I can still be a lawyer, but I can incorporate my faith into that or I can still be a social worker and I can incorporate my faith into that no matter where I’m doing it at. And I found that really helpful and it made me feel better about where I end up in the future.
Chris Dwyer: [06:53] When you look back at your school life and what you’re doing on campus, you know, we want to know how the life of a Catholic is now going through college. Is it a stressful experience trying to maintain your faith while attending college or all three are in the Catholic schools? Has that helped?
Will G. : [07:16] Yeah, I came from a background of going to Catholic school my entire life, so I went grade school, a Jesuit high school and now Jesuit college. So it’s a really interesting way to kind of go through it because I’ve been surrounded by people who have also shared the same faith for my entire schooling. It’s kind of never not been that way. So it’s, not everybody you meet in college is obviously practicing or even Catholic, but it’s pretty easy, to find groups of people who share that interest to share kind of what you like about the faith. There’s even just that you want to be in the faith. It’s easy enough to find those people and kind of those communities is what really helps kind of practice throughout all of college.
Madalyn S.: [08:07] I never went to a Catholic high school, so Villanova was my first time having friends really who were Catholic and it was the first time that I went to mass with people that wasn’t just my family. And that has really been, I think, instrumental in growing my faith and kind of helps me get back on track and realize what’s important to me. And it’s been really special for me to feel like there’s a community of people my age who are also Catholic because before college I didn’t really have that. So I’ve definitely really enjoyed that.
Emily Z.: [08:37] So, I’m not Catholic, but I found myself on a Catholic campus and I really found my community in campus ministry, which is Catholic. Not that they’re unaccepting, you know, everybody is involved in campus ministry in some way, but, I think that I am practicing a different faith now, which is interesting. But, I’m loving it and it’s definitely brought me closer to God and showed me that there’s not one right way in my opinion. And I’ve kind of experienced that a lot. And I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I think that through experiencing something different and something different than what I’ve grown up in has opened my eyes and given me a different perspective and deepened my faith.
Chris Dwyer: [09:30] How have your friends and family reacted to the fact that you’re practicing a different faith than what you grew up with?
Emily Z.: [09:38] My family thinks it’s funny. And I didn’t really have a lot of friends in high school or growing up that were also practicing, I’m Lutheran, so that were also like in the Lutheran Church with me or even into their faith. And so I think having friends that are even into faith at all and have like a spirituality and want to talk about it has been incredible. Regardless of what that faith and spirituality is.
Chris Dwyer: [10:09] All three of you touched on something that a guest in our last podcast had mentioned and that is surrounding yourself with folks that are like you, you know, certainly that, that same thinking. And is that obviously has been the important to keeping your face strong during the college years?
Will G. : [10:27] Absolutely. I do a service organization on campus called Midnight Run, which serves communities kind of around the city of Milwaukee. And it’s really cool because everybody who’s involved in that program is really passionate about going out and helping other people. It’s a great kind of community that really bonds over this shared kind of desire to go out and help.
Chris Dwyer: [10:55] And that’s been a common theme when we talk to young folks. They want to have an impact. They want to change the world. And did you see that as part of your mission when you went to Catholic Charities?
Madalyn S.: [11:06] I think yes. I think deep down I wanted to do Catholic Charities because I thought it could make a difference. And I think it has and maybe, it’s definitely made more of a difference in me than it probably has on the people we’ve tried to help. But I think that’s important too. And just in the way that I talk and I think and I kind of understand people who are experiencing homelessness or experiencing lower income in D.C., I think has changed through that. And that brings me closer to God and it helps me learn about my faith. So I think, yeah, it’s helped.
Chris Dwyer: [11:42] And you made a comment there about it benefiting you as much as it benefits the person that you’re serving. And I’ll tell you, living with the friars here, or actually working with the friars here, you find out their work is all revolving around service to others and they will be the first to tell you that they get more out of it than the people that they’re serving. And did you find that also Emily?
Emily Z.: [12:04] Yeah, 100%. I have been involved in service my entire life and it’s been a priority to me. And I find when you, when you reach out, you get so much more in return than you could have even ever thought possible. The people that you are hoping are so different from you and I think that’s so important. Like you kind of learn their experiences and you know, you learn about why they have ended up where they are and what you can do as even a small little part to kind of alleviate that. And yeah, I think you cannot have truly have faith without, you know, in some way helping others.
Chris Dwyer: [12:48] It can be inspiring and you see what others are living through and are able to overcome. Oftentimes with your help. So Catholic Charities does reach out and helps these folks to bring them up in and out of some very desperate situations. So, and I think Will, you were talking about the education part. So education is a key component too.
Will G. : [13:08] Yeah, absolutely. I didn’t really think that I’d have kind of what I was doing would have a huge impact on people just cause I didn’t really know what an internship would look like with, you know, a charity, but what, yeah, what are they, like I said with education, education is a huge thing and just, you know, being able to, I attended a class that, for people about renting and it was so kind of interesting just to see how people reacted to information. Just, you know, kind of learning how to budget stuff, you know, makes their lives a lot easier.
Chris Dwyer: [13:43] And that’s not just for now. That’s a lifetime lifelong change that you’re making for these folks. Madalyn in your work there at Catholic Charities, the same thing. Were you seeing that impact?
Madalyn S.: [13:55] Yeah, definitely. So I also worked in the Volunteer Services Office with Emily. We did a lot of outreach and advertising and I specifically worked on a program for high school students from the area to come and come to Catholic Charities for a week and do service and reflect and talk about it. So that was really interesting and so great to kind of expose the next generation of people doing service to Catholic Charities and to advocacy and awareness and service. So I definitely saw faith in that and also just people that we’ve met. Emily and I met a woman at one of our shelters last week and she just had such a positive outlook and her journey through experiencing homelessness really, you just learned that could happen to anyone. And it just happened so quickly. And I think that’s a big takeaway is I feel very lucky to feel very secure in my life, but you just never know how close you could be to your life changing completely. So I’ve definitely learned about that this summer.
Chris Dwyer: [15:01] And when you were talking about the high school students, you learned a lot, you said from them, what sort of takeaways were they giving you? What were they giving you in terms of information they have to better experience?
Madalyn S.: [15:12] Yeah, they were, they were so curious about learning about Catholic Charities and learning about service and they were really compassionate and excited to learn. And so these students do go to Catholic high schools in D.C. And are probably of a higher socioeconomic status than the people that we serve. So getting to see them experience in some cases like poverty for the first time, was just kind of, it was interesting for them. I know. And it was interesting for me because I remember when I started learning and volunteering in Philadelphia and areas for the first time. And so it was kind of kind of interesting to like see the person that I used to be and to see their potential for growth through their faith as I feel like I’m still continuing to do that
Chris Dwyer: [15:59] Now I understand you just finished four days ago, so this is hard to process this quickly. But do you think your experience there will influence or impact your career decision? Ultimately?
Emily Z.: [16:12] 100%, I got to talk to a lot of different people, Catholic Charities employs so many different kinds of people in so many different careers. And I met lawyers and social workers and finance people who have found passion in their work because they’re doing social services and helping people. And I think that’s definitely going to impact my career decisions moving forward. I think also I saw that Catholic Charities is doing great things, but it’s not necessarily enough. There’s always more that we can be doing. And I think that motivation of more and trying to, understand these issues deeper and get to the root of the problem and fix that will motivate me in my career choices moving forward.
Chris Dwyer: [17:02] Will, has it changed your thoughts about moving when you’re moving? Obviously mechanical engineering and financial advice a little far apart.
Will G. : [17:08] Yeah, it’s a little weird where I came from because I’m studying mechanical engineering. I came to Catholic Charities and then I worked with finance people. So none of those three things really kind of connect that well you’d think, but it’s really opened up a new avenue of thinking for me because obviously I’d like to do mechanical engineering is what I’m studying. But a lot of the people who work at Catholic Charities, especially the financial stability network are kind of, this is like their second job. This is where they volunteer. They’re not fulltime employees. And it’s kind of just like this other kind of area that I haven’t really thought about before. But it’s definitely something that I’m really interested in.
Chris Dwyer: [17:46] And volunteerism is big on college campuses days.
Will G. : [17:49] Yes, absolutely.
Chris Dwyer: [17:49] Are you three involved other than Catholic Charities? Any volunteer opportunities that you’ve jumped into?
Madalyn S.: [17:56] Yeah, so I have been volunteering after school every Friday since freshman year going into Philadelphia and tutoring at boys and girls clubs and at Cristo Rey schools. So I do that, you know, very regularly and I also live with other students who do that. So it’s called a living learning community where we meet every week and discuss what we do and then we go out and volunteer. And that’s definitely been a big part of my college experience.
Chris Dwyer: [18:21] And that getting together every week, I guess you help support each other through those tough times. You might encounter something another person has already had experience with and then they can offer advice.
Madalyn S.: [18:30] Exactly.
Chris Dwyer: [18:31] Terrific. Emily?
Emily Z.: [18:32] My first year I went on a service trip with people from my campus to Jamaica, and we served a community that’s very, very deep, in the Jamaican jungle for a week. And that was a really incredible experience. I would love to do more service. I just am busy, you know. But yeah, that’s been like my service experience so far in college.
Chris Dwyer: [18:59] Any plans to continue all of this activity after you graduate?
Will G. : [19:06] Yeah, I think so. What I do on campus with Midnight Run is a really cool meal program service. So you serve lunches, dinners, to people around Marquette. Milwaukee is a really interesting city because it’s, I think one of the most segregated cities in the United States, which I don’t think anybody would think of, off the top of their head about, you know, hearing the name Milwaukee. But a lot of what Marquette tries to do with Midnight Run is breaking kind of the Marquette bubble, which is the fact that students don’t really get off campus to interact or help the community around them. It’s kind of just you stay where you are and then the community will stay outside the school. And that’s something that I’m really interested in is just breaking that down and connecting people. So, I don’t really know how that looks, you know, once you’re done with college, once you’re out of a service organization like that, but it’s definitely something that I want to look at and continue to do.
Chris Dwyer: [20:03] Do you all have parishes? Obviously Emily you do not, not being Catholic, but Madalyne and Will, do you belong to a parish back at home?
Will G. : [20:11] Yes. Yeah, I go to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria, Virginia.
Chris Dwyer: [20:15] Okay.
Madalyn S.: [20:16] And I go to St. Mark Catholic School in Vienna, Virginia.
Chris Dwyer: [20:19] Was there anything in high school, any of your activities, any of your classes that sort of led you to this idea of service and the volunteerism that you’ve gotten involved with here and in your universities?
Madalyn S.: [20:33] Yeah, so as I said, I never went to a Catholic high school and so I found, I kind of had to seek that out on my own doing service. And the first thing I did was I went to school in Prague, in the Czech Republic, for the first two years of high school and I went to an Augustinian Parish and they ran a soup kitchen every Saturday for people experiencing homelessness. And so I got involved with that and it was just a very, close one on one, hand to hand, eye to eye connection that I had with the people there, even though we didn’t speak the same language. That I kept that up for two years in that kind of, I think ignited in me a want to like uplift the dignity of other people. So that’s where that started for me. And then in the U.S. Going to high school for my last two years, I taught religious education in fifth grade at my parish’s is like CCD classes. So that, that’s where that continued for me. But I think not going to a Catholic school was almost better for me because it wasn’t just like given to me. I had to actually seek that out.
Chris Dwyer: [21:35] Yeah, I can hear where you actually did seek it out. How about you Emily?
Emily Z.: [21:39] So, I was really involved in a lot of service through my church all through high school. Especially the mission trips that we went on every summer. And again, like Madalyn was saying, it’s the eye to eye that like the real connection that you make with the people who, you know, you’re helping or are really helping you more than you’re helping them. But, it’s that connection that I feel like kind of motivates me because I feel like I know better even now after connecting deeper with people.
Chris Dwyer: [22:10] Fellow human beings.
Emily Z.: [22:13] Yeah, yeah.
Chris Dwyer: [22:13] Yeah, exactly. How about you Will, same?
Will G. : [22:17] Yeah, Gonzaga’s a really cool high school for service. It’s Jesuit, so obviously the focus, you know, the community there is focused on helping people around them. We have a soup kitchen that’s in the basement of the school, which is really cool because the whole school is kind of just set up around, there’s no real service requirements until you get to like senior year, but it’s just really encouraged that you go out and do something, you find things and there’s more than enough things to do with the school. Even, we, our detention was called “jug,” Justice Under God. And your, I guess your punishment for “jug” for getting detention was that you would go and you’d serve meals to apartment buildings around the school, which was really cool. I got “jug” once, but it’s kind of, the whole school is kind of geared towards it. So, you know, everybody’s encouraged to go out and do things to go to retreats, to go help. We have a ton of, service trips that you can do and they go to, you know, really cool places and really cool communities. And so that’s kind of just all of that kind of together. When I left Gonzaga and left kind of all those service opportunities, I was like, I kind of want to keep doing that. And then I just, you know, kept going until I found, you know, at Marquette a place I could do that.
Chris Dwyer: [23:40] So in our last podcast we had John Goldberg who was, or is a campus minister at Saint Anselm’s Abbey school. And what advice would you give him? It sounds like you would advise him to set up as many volunteer opportunities as possible.
Will G. : [23:53] Yeah, it’s definitely important just to have as many, varieties of things to do. A lot of what I did was just soup kitchens, you know, handing out meals, meals on wheels, stuff like that. But yeah, so that kind of, those is going out into the community and meeting people is super cool. Learning about what their experiences are, how they got there, and you know, a little bit of you meeting them, and bringing, I guess wherever, your kind of, I guess, student community into the actual community around them.
Chris Dwyer: [24:33] So we see a lot of our own struggles, our own crosses in some of these other folks that we’re meeting on the streets or in soup kitchens and such. What led you to picking the college that you chose? What was it that led you, Will?
Will G. : [24:50] Yeah, so Marquette was, I didn’t initially choose Marquette because it was Jesuit. That wasn’t kind of like the first thing that I thought about when I was looking for a college, but it’s something that I’ve definitely really appreciated that I chose. It’s a school I chose. It’s weird because, you know, I live here in Virginia, which is very temporary climate, but Milwaukee is very cold, incredibly cold. The winters are very brutal. But I have family who live up there and they were the ones who kind of were like, “Hey, you gotta come check out this school, you gotta come to basketball games. You got to come, you know, just tour the campus, do whatever you can, come check it out.” And then eventually I was just like, all right, yeah, we’ll check it out. And then I ended up there. .
Chris Dwyer: [25:34] Then you spend most of your time indoors, obviously.
Will G. : [25:36] Absolutely. unless it’s really nice out. You spend all your time indoors with like three layers on.
Chris Dwyer: [25:42] How about you Madalyn?
Madalyn S.: [25:43] Well, when I was searching for colleges, I had no intention of going specifically Catholic for any reason. But as I started narrowing my list, all the schools were just Catholic schools because I liked medium size, liberal arts, you know, with sense of community. All these programs, they just ended up all being Catholic schools. So those are all the schools I looked at. And the thing that like distinguished Villanova from the rest of the list for me was just the sense of community I felt on campus when I was there on a really cold day with my mom in the middle of November. People held the door for us, students stopped and asked us where we were going. I just felt a real sense of community and family there.
Chris Dwyer: [26:22] Emily?
Emily Z.: [26:24] Kind of similar to Madalyn, but Loyola was the last school I visited actually in like October of my senior year, which is super late to be still visiting colleges, but they have really good marketing material that they send out and they just, they caught my eye a lot and towards the end I was like, Oh maybe I’ll apply. And so I just visited cause I didn’t want to pay the application fee without visiting, you know. And the second I stepped on campus, I was like, this is it. This is the one, I can’t tell you exactly why. It just felt so right. And there were people around, everybody was all over the place, students talking and chatting to the side. And people holding doors for us and you know, asking us how we were and it just really felt like the community I wanted to be in.
Chris Dwyer: [27:08] So when you were looking and obviously did you have anybody that helped guide you in terms of holding onto your faith when you got into college or did you just wing it on your own?
Emily Z.: [27:19] I think I definitely wanted it to be a priority. It was something, that my faith really grew a lot in my junior and senior years of high school and I didn’t want that to go away. And I knew that I was going to be going to a Catholic school and that I was going to have to try to find where my place was if there was a place for me. And I didn’t necessarily go actively seeking it out. Like I talked to the people at the campus ministry table, like it was like what opportunities you guys had. And they told me and I was like, okay. But, I kind of fell into chapel choir. I didn’t really, I’d like on a whim, signed up to go, went to one rehearsal and really liked it. And I think that community has really guided all of my decisions since then. I like now I’m a leader in chapel choir and that’s my job in campus ministry and campus ministry has become my community and they definitely have guided me deeper into my faith.
Chris Dwyer: [28:17] So what advice would you give to a student entering into college life to hang on to their faith? Are there practices, are there certain activities that you think are really important?
Emily Z.: [28:31] I’m going to go against the grain here a little bit, but my best advice is to question and question, but openly seek the answers to your questions because some of the best advice I got was from my pastor in high school and he was giving a sermon and he said the people who have the deepest faith are the ones who have questioned it the most and found the answers. And maybe even not have found the answers, but it’s even deeper faith to still believe, even though you have all these unanswered questions. And I think a college campus is a great place to do that. There are so many different people, so many different even professors who are very educated in their subjects who can answer your questions. And I think that’s a lot of what I’ve tried to do in college and it’s my best advice.
Chris Dwyer: [29:20] That’s great advice because in fact, even the great saints, if you look back, you look at Aquinas and you look at even Francis who was questioning what was going on in society at that point and how the church was reacting to it. Church meaning all of the hierarchy of the church and he thought it should be changed. He thought there would be a different way of approaching the poor and those in need. So I think awesome advice. Madalyn, any advice you have?
Madalyn S.: [29:45] I agree with Emily. I think ask a lot of questions and also ask your own friends questions about their faith. I definitely before college had never thought about asking my friends about their faith. And now it is something we talk about and it’s so interesting to hear other people’s opinions on that. And another thing, another piece of advice I would give is to make your faith a part of your routine. You get so busy in college with friends and schoolwork and homework that never ends and late nights, that if you really try and set aside an hour on Sunday evenings or a daily mass once a week, or just something that will kind of ground you, I always feel much better after I go to mass. Even if I think I’m too busy and I need to study for a test, my brain just feels much more relaxed and refocused after I do go to mass. So make it a part of your routine and make an effort to whatever your faith is, if it’s, you know, sitting by yourself and just meditating or going off campus for a different service. But if you make an effort, I think that’s really important.
Chris Dwyer: [30:46] Also great advice. Thank you. How about you, Will?
Will G. : [30:48] Yeah, I think faith is something that is definitely kind of importantly shared in a community or you know, with people you are around. But it’s definitely a deeply personal thing to have. For kids kind of going out of going into college, I think it’s really important to find kind of how your faith works for you. Kind of customize it for yourself because it’s definitely something that you need to have strongly with yourself in order to kind of hold onto it. A community of people who share kind of the same faith the same way that you see faith is really makes it easy to hold onto that, it kind of facilitates how you want to, keep going with your faith. It’s really something that, yeah, it’s just a kind of a personal thing that, as long as you hold onto your personal faith and kind of find how it works for you, whether that means service or kind of meditation, mass is a great thing to go to. Even if you just want to use it as an hour to kind of calm down and just sit and listen to somebody talk about kind of, you know, faith and how you should practice it. It’s really just kind of something that you work on with yourself.
Chris Dwyer: [32:00] To that point, we had a guest, several podcasts back who was saying that he didn’t fit neatly into what the church has defined, you know, in terms of practicing the Catholic faith. So he had to do exactly as you said, he customized the faith for himself and then actually sought out people that were like him. And that has allowed him to continue through college and now even into the workforce. So, he continues out there, practicing by finding folks that are just like him.
Will G. :[ 32:29] Yeah, exactly.
Chris Dwyer: [32:30] Great advice. One of the key sort of aspects of the Franciscan life here is that each friar that comes to the friary or into the Monastery brings their own God given talents and then uses them out in society to help their fellow man putting their, their faith into action. And I appreciate the fact that each one of you have done the same thing. You’re a real credit to your families and certainly to those who have mentored you along the way. We appreciate you coming by today and sharing your story about being on a Catholic campus and your faith journey here. Thank you to Madalyn Sullivan, Will Gately and Emily Zimmerman. Thank you all, appreciate your time.
Madalyn S.: [33:17] Thank you.
Emily Z.: [33:17] Thank you.
Chris Dwyer: [33:21] As I mentioned at the end of our last podcast, it’s great to see that faith is alive and certainly operating well on our college campuses and within the younger generation. It does give us all hope that the church is in good hands as time moves on here. I thank you, our listeners for joining us and hope you will follow the friars between our podcast by checking out information about the Monastery and the work of the Holy Land Friars. I encourage you to visit the myfranciscan.org website as well as our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Please subscribe to our podcast and share the link with family and friends. If you have ideas regarding upcoming shows, please share them with us. And again, thank you for joining us. I’m Christopher Dwyer and on behalf of the Franciscan Friars, I extend to you the Franciscan blessing peace and all good.