Thinking and Acting Purposefully

I am beyond blessed to be part of the Manresa community. I truly believe that the program is one of the many “crown jewels” of the Fordham experience. From the first day I stepped foot in Loyola Hall and met all my hallmates, RAs, and Manresa staff and professors, I knew that nothing could compare to this community in the years to come. Whether it’s late nigIMG_2370.jpght study sessions in the O’Keefe Study Commons, watching Sunday football in the Social Commons, tutor sessions with peers in various seminar rooms, jam sessions in the hallway, Mass in the chapel, dinner at Father Lito’s, or Mario Kart tournaments in my room, there is a great energy present. Everyone looks out for each other. Everyone is committed to each other’s success. We truly are a family and it has only been a month!

While the Manresa seminar courses are academically rigorous, they come with some interesting perks. My Manresa class has been served breakfast and coffee on various occasions so that we may consider challenging metaphysical concepts on a full stomach. We are also planning to visit a Greek restaurant in Queens in connection with the Ancient Greek texts we are analyzing in class. As a Gabelli student, these seminar courses are extremely valuable in balancing the business sphere with liberal arts tools to think and act purposefully.

I was initially unsure about applying to an Integrated Learning Community like Manresa. I didn’t know what kind of students it would attract. I think the biggest fear people have is that students in programs like this will have an imbalance between their work and play, placing an unhealthy emphasis on work. But I can assure you that is not the case. While work does come first, the social scene is alive and well in Loyola Hall! In addition to all the activities I mentioned above, I have participated in numerous RA programs, such as attending a Yankees game and kayaking in the Hudson River. I have also visited a New Jersey beach with my roommates, explored the Bronx and Manhattan on the subway, played spike ball, Frisbee, and baseball on Edward’s Parade—all with my fellow Manresa Scholars, who also learn more about themselves through Manresa-sponsored service projects that serve local communities in need. We are not just a community, we are a family, and I can’t wait to see what the next month has in store for us.

Liam Fitzmaurice, GABELLI 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

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Living and Learning Together

In the Manresa Scholars Program, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) students each take one of our five FCRH Manresa seminars, in disciplines such as History, Mathematics, Theology, Biology, and Philosophy.

Taking class with those with whom you live creates an interactive and specialized experience for Scholars as well as for each Manresa professor. Each professor also serves as the academic advisor (called the “Core Advisor”) for the members of their class, allowing them to understand students’ passions and strengths on a deeper level.

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During a recent FCRH Manresa Core Advising group meeting, students discussed their academic achievements, as well as challenges that they’ve experienced thus far in the transition from high school to college life. A common theme was the sense of well-roundedness and self-reflection that Manresa Scholars felt in their academic lives. Manresa Scholars understand that their membership in the Program, paired with Ignatian values emphasized in their Manresa courses and events, allow them to draw unique connections between all of their courses. Manresa advisors were impressed with the initiative that the Scholars displayed, especially considering that it is only their third week on campus.

As Scholars continue to engage in Shared Expectations programs and expand their knowledge in their Manresa seminars, we are excited to see how they grow as individuals and as a community.

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

Of Manresa and Midterms

Being a Manresa Scholar was tough. The Shared Expectations, the Manresa seminar, the extracurricular programs—certainly not a walk in the park. But would I have wanted my freshman year to go any other way? Not a chance. And I suspect, by the end of this year, neither will anyone from the Manresa Class of 2021.

I remember sitting in the O’Keefe Study Commons on the eve of Dean Parmach’s philosophy mid-term. A sprawl of handouts and notes covered the table before me. I had inhaled so much Philosophy that I felt about 99% confident. I got up to finally call it a night, but something stopped me—that 1% of uncertainty: What if that’s one of the questions? What if that’s what the entire test is on? The possibility haunted me and I had to choose: sleep or certainty. And though I tried my best, certainty won out. I studied, skimmed, and searched that last concept until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

The next morning, I sat in my desk with a glint of sleep deprivation and determination in my eye. Dean Parmach placed a test in front of me and I began to read. And guess what: That 1% I studied an extra hour for? That small, specific piece of knowledge I dissected so carefully? Nowhere on the test. Zero mention. Suffice it to say, I was a tad peeved, but it was a good thing I had prepared the other 99% of knowledge. It turned out just fine.

It takes a special type of relentless perseverance to thrive in Manresa: a meticulous work ethic paired with an unslakable sense of curiosity. It’s that very drive that propelled you to apply to and ultimately be accepted into the program; resolve and resourcefulness define Manresa Scholars. The Manresa Scholars Program imbues within you an endless pursuit of knowledge; “almost” will hardly be enough, and excellence will become your earmark.McCarthy Dinner Immersion.jpg

Though occasionally the work is intense and the sleep scarce, nothing prepares you better for a fruitful college experience than Manresa. The lessons I gleaned from Manresa last year—both academic and personal—continue to shape the course of my Fordham career. As a Manresa Scholar, I learned that my words and actions have the power to affect a change; I learned to think and speak concisely, making every word forcible and meaningful.

The very hallmark of a Manresa Scholar resides in their ability to be men and women for others. This year, I get a chance to put that adage into effect in a personal way; I was afforded the opportunity to work as Dean Parmach’s Faculty Advisor Student Assistant (FASA) for the same class I took last year. As a FASA, I aim to help this batch of unsuspecting interlocutors. I provide insight into the academic experience and help to guide the freshmen through the maze of first-year uncertainties. I see it as my way to give back to a program and class that empowered and inspired me.

Now, I know how rigorous these classes are, but I know that you’re in Manresa because of your desire for rigor. As a former Manresa Scholar and FASA, I’ll be accessible if you need help with learning that 99%. But that last 1%? Well—I couldn’t stop you if I tried.

Rafael Saplala, FCRH 2020
Manresa Scholar, 2016-2017

Kayaking on the Hudson with Manresa

As described in previous posts, Manresa Scholars kicked off their first weekend as a community by traveling down to Pier 96 on the Upper West Side for an annual morning of kayaking. With over 100 students signed up for the event, this was the biggest turnout for the kayaking excursion in all ten years of the Manresa Program! Led by Dean Parmach, Mr. Rametta, and Resident Assistants Jenna and Julia, the large group of Scholars trekked to the D subway train at 8:00am, eager to hit the water.

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The weather was perfectly cool for a morning outside. Scholars chose either single or double person kayaks, and had the opportunity to paddle around the Hudson River thanks to the Manhattan Community Boathouse. Some of the Manresa staff even took a turn out on the water! Everyone came out of their kayaks a little wet from the splashes of the paddles, but ultimately it just added to the fun.

Afterwards, many groups of students ventured out on their own in Manhattan for a bite to eat and to explore. Kayaking proves to be a great event each year to bring hallmates together and to develop new relationships within the Manresa community.

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

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Welcome to the Ramily!

On Sunday, August 27th, the halls of Loyola were filled once again with the sounds of excitement and the start of a new year! New Manresa Scholars, coming anywhere from New Jersey, to Kansas, to California, began their fresh start at Fordham University.

Thanks to the New Student Orientation leaders, the freshmen didn’t have to lift a finger as they were greeted with cheers at their cars and again at their rooms as all of their belongings were transported upstairs by the volunteers. Scholarthumb_DSC_5310_1024.jpgs were welcomed inside during their check in process by the Resident Assistants, tutors, Fr. Lito Salazar, S.J. (Jesuit House Master), and Dean Robert Parmach (Faculty Director) as the Manresa staff did their very best to make sure every incoming freshman felt comfortable in their new environment. Roommates were introduced, friendships were sparked, and the room setup process went smoothly for all!

The Manresa Community continued to bond throughout the week in hall meetings, an Ice Cream Social, a tutor meet-and-greet, and even the annual kayaking excursion. Scholars also took part in their first Serving Shared Expectations program at the St. Francis Xavier Parish Welcome Table, where they served food to those in need of a meal.

The energy in Loyola Hall is alive and well, and you can tell the students and staff are both looking forward to this year ahead.

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

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First Steps into Serving

Following kayaking as your first Manresa excursion, make sure to mark Sunday, September 3rd on your calendars as the first Shared Expectations Serving program! 30 Scholars will have the opportunity to travel into Manhattan to volunteer at the St. Francis Xavier Welcome Table. Fordham has a strong relationship with this community partner, and it is a frequent stop on the Serving list for the Manresa Program.

The Welcome Table is a Jesuit apostolate in Chelsea open every Sunday, a day when most other similar services in NYC are closed. Scholars will serve food and engage with visitors throughout the day. In my time as a Scholar, I participated as a volunteer at the Welcome Table, and cannot express it enough how enlightening and rewarding the experience was.To help those in need firsthand builds an emphasis on the values of the Manresa Program, specifically within the Serving category of the Shared Expectations.

We will be meeting at 9:30am in the Loyola Hall lobby to travel together by subway. MetroCards will be provided and further details will be distributed by flyer in the upcoming weeks. This program will serve as a great kick off to the semester ahead. We can’t wait for you to join us on the first program of the year!

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

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2016-2017 Manresa Scholars at the Welcome Table.

Manresa Staff Spotlight: Rev. Lito Salazar, S.J.

In his third year with the Manresa Scholars Program, Fr. Lito Salazar, S.J. continues to bring an important essence to the character and values of this living-learning community. He says, “My presence to the Manresa community is that of an adult witness to genuine human living and loving. In particular, it is that of a vowed religious man, a Jesuit and priest.”

As the as the House Master and Executive Director of Campus Ministry, Fr. Lito defines his Manresa identity as “simply a pLito_280_2_for_website.jpgriest or minister who leads Manresa participants in prayer, preaches in Church, gives talks on Jesuit history and Ignatian spirituality, helps RAs and RDs plan and execute programs and service projects, or is available for consultation and advice on matters of faith and reason, personal and academic.” On top of this, he is an essential voice in our Reflecting programs within the Shared Expectations model. Keep an eye out for a few of his programs in the fall such as “Reflection in the Botanical Gardens,” or “Spirituality and Dreams.”

Additionally, Fr. Lito holds weekly Mass in Loyola Hall’s St. Ignatius Chapel on Thursdays at 9:00pm with an optional social gathering afterwards in his own apartment. He explains, “To those who seek more than a passing engagement, those who enter into conversations of depth in Loyola 302, I hope to embody for them the personal and inter-personal meaningfulness of life, where success and achievement are compatible with suffering and disappointment because it is oriented to something bigger than ourselves, more loving and more forgiving than we can ever imagine. That meaningfulness translates directly into a life of generous service and of trying to make a difference to a broken world and a suffering human community.”

In welcoming the Class of 2021 Scholars to the Manresa Program, Fr. Lito says, “My great desire is for Manresa Scholars to experience something of what Ignatius of Loyola experienced during his less than a year sojourn in that small Catalan town: a totally transformative experience, the beginning of a new life, a turning point. I want to see the Manresa residential program become a staging point for their lives to be marked by depth of thinking and imagination (intellectual, affective), passionate living (virtuous, disciplined), and always being in love (committed, self-sacrificing).”

Lindsey Register, FCRH 2020
Manresa Programming & Marketing Fellow, 2017-2018

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