The inaugural class of Duc In Altum Fellowships welcomes ten inspiring candidates this year and each will be profiled in the next three issues of The Cenacle. Candidates were asked what they expect to receive from the Fellowship, and what they expect to give through this experience. Their responses on the application form contributed to the content of these profiles.
Tami Goy, Pastoral Minister at Saint Joseph High School in South Bend, Indiana, has worked the past 12 years in high school campus ministry. Tami states that she has many hopes for this experience in the DIA Fellowship. By participating in the DIA Fellowship she hopes to:
- Engage with a variety of Catholic educators who are interested in enriching the experience of the Catholic faith in their schools.
- Grow through encounters with our Lord and Savior through newly forged relationships in the DIA Fellowship.
- Gain insights into this ministry and to grow as a minister.
Her fellowship objective is to develop, implement, review and adjust a program for furthering the faith development and spiritual nourishment of Saint Joseph’s faculty and staff so they can grow in their relationship with our living God. This work may then be of value to others who are seeking to deepen the faith life at their own schools. In order for the school to have a vibrant Catholic identity it is important that everyone who works in the building progress in their own faith and relationship with Jesus. “I hope to work to foster a discipleship identity in my school. When teachers and staff are fed and accompanied on their faith walk they are then empowered to feed and accompany students and each other as well as infuse their curriculum with faith in word and deed,” Goy concluded.
Mary Vulcani is Coordinator of Campus Ministry at Holy Family High School in Broomfield, Colorado. The school has recently undergone a $6 million renovation, enrollment is up, and the theology curriculum has been revamped so there’s a great deal of excitement on campus. Her Fellowship will take that excitement even further.
Vulcani and a colleague are collaborating to address the need for aesthetic improvements to key spaces on the Holy Family campus. The areas that still need enhancement are beauty and sacred spaces. She states, “Improvements to the exterior will, God willing, have an effect on the Catholicity of our faculty, students, and parents. It’s my hope that this fellowship will help me broaden the considerations and take it to the next level.”
She observes that many schools and Catholic buildings struggle with beauty. The sanitization of Catholic Culture in the past has left many Catholic schools and churches devoid the beauty one comes to expect from much older buildings. The results of this Fellowship experience, addressing beauty and sacred spaces, could help other Catholic school leaders to address those needs on their campuses.
From St. James Academy in Lenexa, Kansas, comes Joe Walberg. He’s a teacher, coach and community dean. He sees the Fellowship as an opportunity to deepen the integration of his faith life and professional life through servant leadership, and to build a stronger leadership presence within Catholic education.
“I’m a product of Catholic schools, and I’m proud to make my career building up the Kingdom. In particular, I hope to work with other Catholic school teachers to develop the practice of sharing their faith experience with their students,” Walberg states. Helping Catholic school faculties delve into more meaningful religious practice in service to Jesus, and to present a more substantial Christian witness to the Gospel, will be his focus.
Walberg hopes to be mentored on how to evangelize to students and help other teachers do the same. He also hopes to build relationships with teachers at other schools who are pursuing a Christ-inspired life in themselves and others, helping them thrive in their vocations.
The “capstone” for each Fellow will be the presentation of their projects’ results at the DIA Schools Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, October 20-22, 2021. Plan to be part of the Summit, not just to meet these thought-leaders and learn more about their experience, but also for the quality programming and fellowship with Catholic school leaders, teachers and campus ministers.