Page 1

Saint Benedict Forum Newsletter

T H E CA N T I C L E

Student Profile: Rebecca Pavlock Name: Rebecca Pavlock Hometown: South Lyon, MI Class: Junior Major: Biomechanical Engineering

could focus on prayer and our relationship with the Lord. Spending time in silence with my Father in prayer, thanksgiving, and adoration was without a doubt one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had.

Describe your faith journey in three sentences or less:

How did you grow in your faith this year?

I was raised in a strong Catholic home with two incredible parents who have always been wonderful models to me of what it looks like to live for others and love the Lord. As I grew up, however, it became evident to me that although on paper it looked like I did everything necessary to live in accord with the Catholic faith, I lacked a deep relationship with God. As I have grown into my faith in the past few years, this personal relationship has developed through an increased focus on prayer and a deeper understanding of the unfailing love of the Father. What has been your favorite Saint Benedict Forum event? My favorite event was the Advent Retreat. At the first talk of the retreat, Fr. David Meconi requested that we refrain from speaking until the end of the retreat so we

Newsletter of the Saint Benedict Forum for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization

During spring break of this year I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Haiti. For the first time in my life I was exposed to extreme poverty, illness, and brokenness, and I found myself completely heartbroken. The Lord redefined my previous idea of human dignity through the disabled children I helped to bathe and clothe at the Missionaries of the Poor. I understood more deeply Christ's thirst on the cross through the cries of the infants that we held and soothed in the nutrition center run by the Missionaries of Charity. And the great universality of the Catholic church will inspire me for the rest of my life.

June 2016

ENCOUNTERING CHRIST IN

HAITI

What does the future hold for you? After I graduate from Hope next spring, I plan to attend medical school. I am looking forward to a career that will allow me to use the gifts God blessed me with to minister to others when they are sick, weak, or broken.

A Catholic Priest to Serve Hope College?

Yes! 

Since its inception, one of the Saint Benedict Forum’s major goals has been to bring a chaplain to Hope College to serve its 600+ Catholic students. Statistics show that 80 percent of people who leave the Catholic Church do so by age 23. College, then, is a crucial time for discovering faith in Christ. We believe that a dynamic priest on campus, interacting daily with students and administering the Sacraments, will encourage students already practicing their faith and will help gather many stray sheep back into the fold. We invite you to join us in our mission and take part in the New Evangelization! Please consider giving today. Contact Brian Piecuch, Director of Development, at 616.392.6700 ext. 119 or email him at brianpiecuch@saintbenedictforum.org with any questions. The Saint Benedict Forum exists thanks to the kind contributions of our friends and supporters. We thank you for your generosity!

“The Saint Benedict Forum has succeeded in creating a high-quality academic center for authentic Catholic thought, while at the same time integrating itself into the ecumenical spiritual fabric of Hope College.” Bishop David J. Walkowiak

Saint Benedict Forum

for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization 195 West 13th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423 | www.saintbenedictforum.org | saintbenedictforum@gmail.com

Students stop for a photo-op on the mountains overlooking Port-au-Prince.

I 

n March, ten Hope College students and two leaders from the local Catholic parish traveled to Haiti to learn more about the beauty and wonder of God’s Spirit at work through the people they encountered. Dr. Michael Page, one of the adult leaders, said, “We did not want to travel as tourists or ‘missionaries,’ but as students eager to learn from the experience of the Haitian people.” The group met orphans and sick children at a Missionaries of Charity nutrition center, the severely disabled at a home directed by the Missionaries of the

Poor, the hungry at the Food for the Poor distribution center, tireless workers at Gertrude’s Orphanage, doctors and nurses at two local hospitals, and entrepreneurs at local businesses. They also had the privilege to worship with Mother Teresa’s sisters every day and to process through the streets of Port-au-Prince on Palm Sunday and celebrate the Triduum with Haitian Catholics. Anna Jones, a theater major in her sophomore year, said, “This trip not only broadened my vision of the Church, letting me experience the universality of the (continued on page 2)


Saint Benedict Forum Newsletter

June 2016

Haiti Immersion Trip 2016 (continued from page 1)

Church in a way that will remain with me forever, but it also opened my heart to the most vulnerable among us, helping me to better understand the inviolable dignity of the human person.” Monica Muñoz, a nursing major, shared that “the orphanage of the Missionaries of Charity was the first of many events that cracked my hardened shell and left me feeling vulnerable and exposed . . . the moment I looked into the eyes of the first child, I felt my body clench up. It pained me to see a child no more than two years old already carrying such a heaviness of sadness in their eyes. At that moment, I finally understood what it meant when people said that the eyes were the windows to the soul. Immediately I wanted to hold the child, and hoped that within my arms he could feel all the love I had for him.”

“This trip showed me that if you have Jesus you are richer than you could ever imagine.” Nancy Kast Monica continued, “The turmoil I felt caused by this simple small room of children gave me light as to how important it is to always show love and how wasteful it was to ever show anything but it. These children show me how to never be ungrateful for the love I receive from my family, friends and even strangers. It doesn’t matter if you know the person or not; the importance lies in acknowledging the other person as human and as a child of God that deserves love regardless of any other titles he or she holds. Love, at least to me, is what holds the most value in this world.” The experience of seeing suffering and poverty on a scale that is encountered in Haiti is often a difficult experience to process. But, we also know that it presents an opportunity to be opened in such a way that God’s Spirit can penetrate deeper and liberate individuals from anxiety and fear bringing them into a deeper awareness of His presence in the world. This was the universal experience of our students who went to Haiti this year. Images: (Top) “Hello, Haiti!” (Middle) Learning from local businesswomen. (Bottom) Celebrating the Triduum in Port-au-Prince.

Page 2

Jack Mulder addresses a full house at January’s Catholic-Reformed Dialogue.

Catholic-Reformed Dialogue: “A Real Blessing”

O 

n January 28, the Saint Benedict Forum hosted a Catholic-Reformed Dialogue about Jack Mulder’s new book, What Does It Mean to Be Catholic? (Eerdmans, 2015). Dr. Mulder’s book is the meditation of a Hope College professor who converted to Catholicism from the Reformed tradition. It was written as an effort to practice robust ecumenism, the idea that different Christian groups should share the distinctive gifts of their own tradition as they work toward full Christian unity. Two Reformed scholars offered generous, yet critical responses to Dr. Mulder’s book. Han-luen Kantzer-Komline, Assistant Professor of Church History and Theology at Western Theological Seminary, took up the question of the relationship between Scripture and Tradition. Lynn Japinga, Associate Professor of Religion at Hope College, challenged Mulder

on Mary, development of doctrine, women’s ordination, and contraception. Dr. Mulder responded to each presenter. “It is a real blessing,” said Jared Ortiz, co-founder and director of the Saint Benedict Forum, “to be at Hope where we can engage in serious dialogue about faith, share the gifts of our respective traditions, and do so in a spirit of friendship. This kind of interaction is rare.” The event drew a large crowd of students, faculty, parishioners, Protestant seminarians, and other community members who filled Winants Auditorium. This event was co-sponsored by the Philosophy and Religion Departments, Campus Ministries, Center for Ministry Studies, Lilly Group on Robust Ecumenism, the Office of the Provost, and the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

Han-luen KantzerKomline and Lynn Japinga responded to Mulder’s new book.

Page 3


Saint Benedict Forum Newsletter

June 2016

Haiti Immersion Trip 2016 (continued from page 1)

Church in a way that will remain with me forever, but it also opened my heart to the most vulnerable among us, helping me to better understand the inviolable dignity of the human person.” Monica Muñoz, a nursing major, shared that “the orphanage of the Missionaries of Charity was the first of many events that cracked my hardened shell and left me feeling vulnerable and exposed . . . the moment I looked into the eyes of the first child, I felt my body clench up. It pained me to see a child no more than two years old already carrying such a heaviness of sadness in their eyes. At that moment, I finally understood what it meant when people said that the eyes were the windows to the soul. Immediately I wanted to hold the child, and hoped that within my arms he could feel all the love I had for him.”

“This trip showed me that if you have Jesus you are richer than you could ever imagine.” Nancy Kast Monica continued, “The turmoil I felt caused by this simple small room of children gave me light as to how important it is to always show love and how wasteful it was to ever show anything but it. These children show me how to never be ungrateful for the love I receive from my family, friends and even strangers. It doesn’t matter if you know the person or not; the importance lies in acknowledging the other person as human and as a child of God that deserves love regardless of any other titles he or she holds. Love, at least to me, is what holds the most value in this world.” The experience of seeing suffering and poverty on a scale that is encountered in Haiti is often a difficult experience to process. But, we also know that it presents an opportunity to be opened in such a way that God’s Spirit can penetrate deeper and liberate individuals from anxiety and fear bringing them into a deeper awareness of His presence in the world. This was the universal experience of our students who went to Haiti this year. Images: (Top) “Hello, Haiti!” (Middle) Learning from local businesswomen. (Bottom) Celebrating the Triduum in Port-au-Prince.

Page 2

Jack Mulder addresses a full house at January’s Catholic-Reformed Dialogue.

Catholic-Reformed Dialogue: “A Real Blessing”

O 

n January 28, the Saint Benedict Forum hosted a Catholic-Reformed Dialogue about Jack Mulder’s new book, What Does It Mean to Be Catholic? (Eerdmans, 2015). Dr. Mulder’s book is the meditation of a Hope College professor who converted to Catholicism from the Reformed tradition. It was written as an effort to practice robust ecumenism, the idea that different Christian groups should share the distinctive gifts of their own tradition as they work toward full Christian unity. Two Reformed scholars offered generous, yet critical responses to Dr. Mulder’s book. Han-luen Kantzer-Komline, Assistant Professor of Church History and Theology at Western Theological Seminary, took up the question of the relationship between Scripture and Tradition. Lynn Japinga, Associate Professor of Religion at Hope College, challenged Mulder

on Mary, development of doctrine, women’s ordination, and contraception. Dr. Mulder responded to each presenter. “It is a real blessing,” said Jared Ortiz, co-founder and director of the Saint Benedict Forum, “to be at Hope where we can engage in serious dialogue about faith, share the gifts of our respective traditions, and do so in a spirit of friendship. This kind of interaction is rare.” The event drew a large crowd of students, faculty, parishioners, Protestant seminarians, and other community members who filled Winants Auditorium. This event was co-sponsored by the Philosophy and Religion Departments, Campus Ministries, Center for Ministry Studies, Lilly Group on Robust Ecumenism, the Office of the Provost, and the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

Han-luen KantzerKomline and Lynn Japinga responded to Mulder’s new book.

Page 3


Saint Benedict Forum Newsletter

T H E CA N T I C L E

Student Profile: Rebecca Pavlock Name: Rebecca Pavlock Hometown: South Lyon, MI Class: Junior Major: Biomechanical Engineering

could focus on prayer and our relationship with the Lord. Spending time in silence with my Father in prayer, thanksgiving, and adoration was without a doubt one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had.

Describe your faith journey in three sentences or less:

How did you grow in your faith this year?

I was raised in a strong Catholic home with two incredible parents who have always been wonderful models to me of what it looks like to live for others and love the Lord. As I grew up, however, it became evident to me that although on paper it looked like I did everything necessary to live in accord with the Catholic faith, I lacked a deep relationship with God. As I have grown into my faith in the past few years, this personal relationship has developed through an increased focus on prayer and a deeper understanding of the unfailing love of the Father. What has been your favorite Saint Benedict Forum event? My favorite event was the Advent Retreat. At the first talk of the retreat, Fr. David Meconi requested that we refrain from speaking until the end of the retreat so we

Newsletter of the Saint Benedict Forum for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization

During spring break of this year I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Haiti. For the first time in my life I was exposed to extreme poverty, illness, and brokenness, and I found myself completely heartbroken. The Lord redefined my previous idea of human dignity through the disabled children I helped to bathe and clothe at the Missionaries of the Poor. I understood more deeply Christ's thirst on the cross through the cries of the infants that we held and soothed in the nutrition center run by the Missionaries of Charity. And the great universality of the Catholic church will inspire me for the rest of my life.

June 2016

ENCOUNTERING CHRIST IN

HAITI

What does the future hold for you? After I graduate from Hope next spring, I plan to attend medical school. I am looking forward to a career that will allow me to use the gifts God blessed me with to minister to others when they are sick, weak, or broken.

A Catholic Priest to Serve Hope College?

Yes! 

Since its inception, one of the Saint Benedict Forum’s major goals has been to bring a chaplain to Hope College to serve its 600+ Catholic students. Statistics show that 80 percent of people who leave the Catholic Church do so by age 23. College, then, is a crucial time for discovering faith in Christ. We believe that a dynamic priest on campus, interacting daily with students and administering the Sacraments, will encourage students already practicing their faith and will help gather many stray sheep back into the fold. We invite you to join us in our mission and take part in the New Evangelization! Click here to give today. Contact Brian Piecuch, Director of Development, at 616.392.6700 ext. 119 or email him at brianpiecuch@saintbenedictforum.org with any questions. The Saint Benedict Forum exists thanks to the kind contributions of our friends and supporters. We thank you for your generosity!

“The Saint Benedict Forum has succeeded in creating a high-quality academic center for authentic Catholic thought, while at the same time integrating itself into the ecumenical spiritual fabric of Hope College.” Bishop David J. Walkowiak

Saint Benedict Forum

for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization 195 West 13th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423 | www.saintbenedictforum.org | saintbenedictforum@gmail.com

Students stop for a photo-op on the mountains overlooking Port-au-Prince.

I 

n March, ten Hope College students and two leaders from the local Catholic parish traveled to Haiti to learn more about the beauty and wonder of God’s Spirit at work through the people they encountered. Dr. Michael Page, one of the adult leaders, said, “We did not want to travel as tourists or ‘missionaries,’ but as students eager to learn from the experience of the Haitian people.” The group met orphans and sick children at a Missionaries of Charity nutrition center, the severely disabled at a home directed by the Missionaries of the

Poor, the hungry at the Food for the Poor distribution center, tireless workers at Gertrude’s Orphanage, doctors and nurses at two local hospitals, and entrepreneurs at local businesses. They also had the privilege to worship with Mother Teresa’s sisters every day and to process through the streets of Port-au-Prince on Palm Sunday and celebrate the Triduum with Haitian Catholics. Anna Jones, a theater major in her sophomore year, said, “This trip not only broadened my vision of the Church, letting me experience the universality of the (continued on page 2)

The Canticle June 2016  

Newsletter of the Saint Benedict Institute.

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