The modern university and job atmosphere can be a hostile place for the Catholic Faith. Whether its in the classroom, student union, or workplace, Catholics are increasingly being challenged by the secularization of society, with its repercussions in almost every facet of life.
As Catholics, it’s not enough that our faith simply survive the challenge; in Christ’s own words, we are called to be the salt of the earth, and the light of the world (Mt 5:13-14). In order to meet the challenges of living the faith as a young Catholic adult, our Religious Family hosts an annual four-day formation program called Universitas on the grounds of our retreat center in the beautiful foothills of the NY Catskill Mountains.
Universitas is an intensive course designed to provide four types of formation essential for Catholic Young Adults:
1. Human Formation: Grace builds on nature, healing a human nature wounded by sin and raising it to new heights. To be truly human means to be in command of the emotions, to be able to communicate with and work alongside other people. To accomplish this, Universitas provides numerous opportunities to challenge and master yourself by hiking in the Catskills, canoeing and kayaking in the Hudson River, playing team sports, and the like. The camaraderie you’ll experience by being with other serious Catholics is a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of your faith and to ‘recharge’ after a trying year at college.
2. Spiritual Formation: Universitas is a time to draw nearer to God through prayer. With daily Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confessions, and communal recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, you’ll draw nearer to God who is the source of all holiness.
3. Intellectual Formation: In contemporary society, it’s not enough simply to know basic Catholic doctrine and to leave the difficult issues to theologians; now, more than ever, the world wants to know what we Catholics believe and why. The seminars and sessions at Universitas will provide you with profound insights and deeper understanding of Catholic teaching, taken from the greatest minds the world has even seen: Saint Thomas Aquinas, Blessed Pope John Paul II, and many, many more!
4. Apostolic Formation: To be the salt of the earth, and the light of the world, we must go out preach the Good News. To be formed as an apostle means to learn concrete ways to spread the Gospel, to become skilled at inculturating it even in a culture as secular as a university campus. Universitas will give you the tools to live as an apostolic witness no matter where you study.