Intertwined Institutions

My name is Henry Sternberg, and I am currently a freshman at Fordham College at Rose Hill. I recently went on a tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral through the Manresa Scholars Program. The event was thoroughly enjoyable and interesting.

My family lives an hour away from New York, so I had visited the Cathedral prior to the tour through the Manresa Program. One of my earliest memories at the Cathedral was when my grandparents brought me to a Mass conducted in German before the Steuben Day Parade. I remember sitting in the pews through the Mass, totally unaware of what was going on. Not only was my German inadequate, but there were also a lot of nuances in the Cathedral itself that I did not recognize. The most attractive aspect of revisiting the Cathedral through the Manresa Program was the opportunity to reflect upon how my perception of the world has changed since my first visit.

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Upon meeting for the tour, Dean Parmach told us our tour guides for the excursion were two Fordham alumni, Loual Puliafito (FCRH 2004) and James Cappabianca (GSE 2015). The connections between Fordham and St. Patrick’s Cathedral were a central theme of the tour. John Bishop Hughes, the first Archbishop of New York, was also the founder of what would become Fordham University. Our experienced guides were able to show us areas of the Cathedral not normally shown on public tours, like St. Patrick’s crypt, where Hughes was buried, and a different room which held his chair. Hughes set up networks of Catholic institutions while expanding the diocese of New York. Now, when I walk past the statue of him on campus at Fordham, I can situate his life in context. Archbishop John Hughes’ legacy lives on through the institutions he founded.

Our tour also focused on architectural details. Every feature in the Cathedral is purposeful. Arrangements of plants, each one unique, are chiseled on the ceiling of the Cathedral. The little variations in greenery still contribute to the central image of the Garden of Eden, which the Cathedral aims to emulate. The plants’ differences convey the beauty and complexity of God’s creations.  The tour highlighted dimensions of the Cathedral I had never detected. There is always an opportunity for deeper understanding; sometimes, it just takes a new lens to discover it. In this way, the Manresa Program teaches us to live in the context of Jesuit teachings and to expand our worldview.

Henry Sternberg, FCRH 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

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Why Jesuit?

My name is Abby Turbenson, and I am currently a freshman at Fordham College at Rose Hill. I also participate in the Manresa Scholars Program. Besides living in the beautiful Loyola Hall, and taking a unique Manresa seminar course, my fellow Scholars and I have the opportunity to participate in dinner-colloquia led by Program faculty.

I decided to attend a recent dinner-colloquium led by Professor Harry Nasuti (Theology). The event was a wonderful opportunity to meet Prof. Nasuti, share a meal, and engage in lively dialogue with the people I have been living and learning with for the past several months. Prof. Nasuti teaches the Manresa Theology seminar, “Sinners, Saints, and Stories,” so the discussion was centered around Jesuit education — what that meant for St. Ignatius (founder of the Jesuits), Archbishop John Hughes (founder of what eventually became Fordham University), and how these figures inform what it means to attend a Jesuit university today.

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Manresa Scholars at Prof. Nasuti’s dinner-colloquium.

Being a Jesuit university means that as a school, Fordham has a different role in the lives of its students than another university would have. Fordham succeeds only if it graduates men and women who are ready to live lives that uphold the fundamental values of its founding tradition. In other words, Fordham graduates must be men and women for and with others; otherwise, Fordham has not met its duty.

Recalling a talk that some of us had attended during orientation, my fellow students and I brought up the fact that Fordham has an obligation to uphold academic freedom while taking a moral stance on pressing issues. We found this balance to be of immediate importance by recalling a recent email from Fr. Joseph McShane, S.J., President of Fordham, regarding a controversial speaker who was invited by a club to speak on campus, but whose ideas struck some as at odds with Fordham’s founding ideals.

Our discussion clarified important items about the role of a Jesuit university, and also left me with meaningful questions of my own. Where do I fit into this educational system? Must I always agree with the stance that the University takes, and where does my critical voice emerge? These questions have spilled over from the colloquium into my conversations with friends in more casual settings. It is important to me that I participate actively in Fordham’s culture, and I am heartened to know that my peers are also pursuing this goal.

Abby Turbenson, FCRH 2021
Manresa Scholar, 2017-2018

 

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.

Paddling into the Fall Semester

The annual Manresa kayaking excursion provides Scholars with the opportunity to step outside of the Bronx, connect with new friends, and explore the city. During your first weekend as a Fordham Ram, the Manresa community travels to the Hudson River Pier to take in the views of the Upper West Side from the river itself. After gearing up with lifejackets and oars, students can paddle and splash around in single or double kayaks, bonding with their new community.

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The public boathouse is located on Pier 96, steps away from the city streets, giving students the opportunity to go explore for themselves after kayaking. As a Manresa alumna, I loved this experience, as it was a great opportunity to meet new people and get to know a different part of New York; we stuck around the Upper West Side to grab lunch and take a walk through Central Park.

This event will take place on Saturday, 9/2, and is sure to set the tone for the exciting excursions and experiences that are to come for the Manresa Scholars!

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

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Ignatian Integration Papers: An Introduction

To help you reflect upon your progress in the Manresa Scholars Program, our Ignatian Integration Papers create three intellectual checkpoints throughout the fall semester in which Scholars are given the opportunity to relate their work in the classroom to the Ignatian values of their living-learning community.

These two-page papers are submitted to each student’s Manresa professor for a grade. 

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Manresa Scholar Julia Townsend presents one of her Ignatian Integration Papers at the “Manresa Scholars Showcase” at the end of the fall semester.

Each is based on a specific prompt that connects the learning styles within the Manresa Seminars to the outcomes of the Shared Expectation programs.

The first prompt calls for an emphasis on the elements of discovery and imagination. 

The second reflects upon the values of young adults at a Jesuit school, and the third allows for a mental recap of the entire semester, as well as personal input towards future Manresa programming.

With my Integration Paper experience, the final prompt was my favorite as it pushed me not only to reflect on my individual Manresa experience in my course and with the programs I participated in, but also to use my intellectually-bothered spirit to develop ideas that could benefit the entirety of the community.

At the end of the fall semester, the Loyola Hall community comes together for the “Manresa Scholars Showcase,” during which individual Ignatian Integration Papers from each Manresa course are selected by the professors for presentation. This event is a great opportunity for chosen Scholars to demonstrate their skills acquired through their Eloquentia Perfecta Manresa courses, and to share their personal insights on the Ignatian values of the program with their peers.

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

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