College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Catholic Studies > About > Alumni Spotlight
Thought raised receiving the sacraments, I was never a consistently practicing Catholic as a teenager. As a college freshman, I had an experience that ignited my faith. Inclined to learn more about the Church, I took a course or two in CTH to grow my knowledge while filling some requirements for my DPR. I was struck by the interdisciplinary nature of the department and ended up sticking around to feed my love for the liberal arts while simultaneously gaining an intellectual understanding of my newfound faith.
There are two elements of the department that I most enjoy. First, I'll continue to sing the praises of how interdisciplinary CTH is. You don't become a CTH major or minor expecting a degree in theology, rather you expect to gain an understanding of the way in which Catholicism has shaped and been influenced by culture, art, morality and philosophy over the past 2000 years. Naturally, my other favorite element of the department is the faculty. I respect and enjoy every single professor I studied with from the department, not only as teachers, but as cheerful, thoughtful and dedicated people. I found that in addition to providing quality resources and class discussion, CTH professors were truly Catholic in their effort to care about their students' as whole persons.
It's difficult to nail down my "most memorable experience" because my entire undergraduate career was more or less shaped by the CTH department, or the influence it had on me. That said, my first study abroad trip to Rome is certainly something that sticks out. More specifically, my first trip to Assisi. I still remember standing at the edge of the hilltop-town and staring out over the quiet yet vivid environment for the first time. I felt extraordinarily at peace.
For those considering majoring or minoring in Catholic Studies, my recommendation is to just go for it. If you're worried about tacking it on, know that you'll look back and be grateful you said yes. Studying in the CTH department provides more than an intellectual education. It is a nourishing experience for the mind and spirit...a place to wrestle with the thoughts and doubts we hold in our hearts. The stress that comes from an extra book to read or paper to write is fleeting, while the relationships you build and the conversations you share in the CTH department will add lasting joy and purpose to your overall college experience.
I am currently working as a Religion teacher at a Catholic school. My experience with Catholic Studies has not only assured my confidence in my knowledge of the faith so that I may share it with my students, but also in my approach of actually living the mission as a part of my curriculum. I can always add to my intellectual repertoire, but showing love and care for my students is something I only gained after experiencing the benefits of that myself. You can't teach Catholicism without living it.
Griffin Hardy began an internship his junior year with DePaul’s Office of Mission and Values, which works closely with Sr. Helen Prejean. Prejean's work against capital punishment was made famous by the 1996 Academy Award-winning film “Dead Man Walking,” based on her eponymous book. Upon graduation, Catholic Studies major Griffin Hardy will continue to work with Sr. Helen Prejean's organization Ministry Against the Death Penalty as well as DePaul University's Office of Mission and Values. Hardy also hopes to go to law school to become a public defender. Read more about Griffin here.
After graduating from DePaul,
Emily moved to Seattle, WA to pursue a job at the Intercommunity Peace and
Justice Center, a Catholic, justice-based non-profit. There, she worked as a
Justice Education Coordinator, researching and educating the community on human
trafficking and modern day slavery, as well as developing faith sharing
curriculum and prayer services around various social justice issues.
Emily also spent time working as a Youth and Young Adult Minister at
Sacred Heart Parish in Bellevue, WA. Currently, Emily is back at DePaul working
as the Ministry Coordinator for Service Immersions in the Vincentian Community
Service Office. Feel free to stop by the office to share a cup of tea, chat
about theology, and to sign up for a service immersion!
I have been working at Cometa Formazione for almost 10 months now, and I can safely say that it has been one of the most important and enriching experiences in my life. Cometa is a vocational school in Como Italy, a city with one of the highest dropout rates in Italy. I teach English in the carpentry sector of the school, where students learn what it really means to become an artisan and a craftsman when working with wood. Many of students have a background of hardships in school, and some come from difficult families; therefore, it is easy to imagine that teaching English to them has been a challenge. The students need constant motivation and encouragement to understand that learning a foreign language is not only useful for their future work, but that it can be exciting and beautiful. One of the most amazing experiences here has been to see how the students learn to trust and follow you as the months of the school year pass by. As a first time teacher, I was unaware of just how strong the bond with students can become so that offering up afternoons for individual study with them becomes something completely natural and enjoyable! As a teacher here in Cometa, I am learning what teaching really means and just how important the role of the educator is for society in general. It gives a possibility to change lives, touch hearts, and grow enormously!