Ignatian Values in Humanitarian Action

In continuation of “Love Week” in Loyola Hall, members of the Manresa SymposiumHSU gathered for a Valentine’s Day class session to discuss “Ignatian Values in Humanitarian Action,” led by the president of Fordham’s Humanitarian Student Union (HSU), Neil Joyce, FCRH 2019.

The conversation began with a short article by Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries. Joyce started off with a discussion of Fr. Boyle’s work and how he is a humanitarian, allowing the Scholars to begin to think of ways in which Jesuit values reflect humanitarianism, and vice versa. Then, Scholars broke up into small groups. Using their knowledge of Fr. Boyle and understanding of core Jesuit values, they applied elements of Manresa’s Shared Expectations model to humanitarianism.

Discussing themes of Learning, Sharing, Reflecting, and Serving, Scholars evaluated the presence and value of these actions in their own lives, the Fordham community, and the world beyond. At the conclusion of each small group thematic discussion, the Symposium participants collectively shared thoughts and opinions that were generated, and ultimately applied humanitarian values to their lives as students at a Jesuit university.

The Symposium session concluded with an introduction to the role of the Humanitarian Student Union, leaving many Scholars eager to sign up to interact with the lessons of this session beyond the walls of Loyola Hall.

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

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“Love and the Fordham Family”

Each year, in midst of the season of love, Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., the President of Fordham University, joins the Manresa community to share some personal insights and Jesuit values relevant to this theme of love. To kick off “Love Week” in Loyola Hall, shortly before Valentine’s Day, Fr. McShane visited Manresa for a special dinner-colloquium on the topic of “Love and the Fordham Family.” Almost all of the Scholars and staff were present for this unique and intimate interaction.

Fr. McShane presented his colloquium in two separate parts, showcasing his efforts to communicate with the students and his commitment to the values of the University. First, he went around the room and personally got to know every Scholar, asking of their name, hometown, and high school. This initiated additional conversation on his familiarity with their background, families, and goals, of course with some traditional presidential humor in the mix. Then, he led into a simple and enlightening conversation on the meaning and understanding of love as a Jesuit and at Fordham.

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Fr. McShane touched on the accepting nature of the University and the community presence that exists not only in our Ignatian Integrated Learning Community, but across campus as well, and beyond college life. He concluded the evening by thanking the students for their demonstration of love:

Thanks for giving your hearts to the place, because your hearts will make the heart of Fordham stronger, better, more sensitive, more resilient, more resolute in its commitments.

Ultimately, this signature dinner-colloquium is a unique addition to the Shared Expectations model, to which the Manresa community looks forward each year.

Check out our highlights video from from Fr. McShane’s talk!

Introduction to the Manresa Spring Symposium

Each spring, the Manresa Program offers an optional, one-credit symposium to continue the development of Community-Engaged Learning beyond the fall Manresa seminars. Led by Dean Robert Parmach, Manresa’s Faculty Director, the Symposium focuses on “Jesuit Education, Social Justice, and Community-Engaged Learning.”

Participation in the Symposium exposes students to the four Ignatian life skills that form our Manresa Shared Expectations: Learning, Sharing, Serving, and Reflecting. It highlights the collaboration between Manresa faculty, our Jesuit-in-residence house master, residence hall staff, Office of Mission Integration and Planning and its Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice, and Bronx community partners. Both on and off-campus, the Symposium emphasizes respectful dialogue, solidarity, reflection, and critically-informed action in the Jesuit educational tradition.

This semester, the symposium features a conversation with Fr. James Martin, S.J., Editor-at-Large of America Magazine, community tutoring sessions at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Grammar School, discussions with Campus Ministry, and interactions with Fordham student-leaders such as those from the Humanitarian Student Union.

Stay tuned to hear more about the engaging opportunities that Scholars in the Symposium will take part in throughout the semester!

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

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Scholars engage in a variety of enriching discussions during the Spring Symposium.

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

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

 

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

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

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