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franciscanway - Franciscan University of Steubenville

franciscanway - Franciscan University of Steubenville


IN BRIEF 6 Franciscan Way • Autumn 2008 A “Down Under” World Youth Day World Youth Day graces were in ample supply to the 148 people who joined Franciscan University’s pilgrimage to Australia. The contingent of Franciscan students, alumni, teens, and their chaperones were under the escort of Rachael Meier of the University’s Journeys Offi ce. “This was by far the best World Youth Day I’ve ever attended,” said Meier, a veteran of WYDs in Denver, Laura Grasselli waits for the pope. Rome, and Toronto. “The Australians were great hosts and our group attended powerful catechetic sessions.” Father David Pivonka, TOR, ’89 post-novitiate director for the Sacred Heart Province, and Father Gregory Plow, TOR, assistant coordinator of Household Life, served as chaplains. “For the youth in our group this was a powerful experience of the universal Church,” said Father Plow. “At the vigil we camped next to a group from the Solomon Islands. Many times we were in prayer and song with Catholics from all over the world.” As a newly ordained priest, Father Plow said it was an honor to be among several thousand priests who concelebrated the closing Mass with Pope Benedict XVI. A picture of Father Plow holding a ciborium was widely circulated by the Associated Press. Group member Katie Thomas, a Franciscan graduate theology student, blogged from WYD for the Cardinal Newman Society. In one posting she described the hours leading up to the closing Mass. “I was really struck by the reverence of the large crowd. Everyone, hundreds of thousands of us, knelt in prayer. Sometimes, in between prayer and song, there was absolute silence, with just the sound of the light wind blowing across the fi eld. The young faithful of the world know when and how to pray.” The Journeys Offi ce is already planning a site visit to Madrid, Spain, to prepare for World Youth Day 2011. Maeve Jopson, James Armillay, and Sara Brezinski sack out at the vigil. Casey Palmer plays an organ under the direction of Peter Planyavsky, director of the University of Vienna’s Church Music Department. A Musical Church Tour in Germany and Austria Two Franciscan University sacred music majors embarked on a whirlwind music tour of Austria and Germany this summer. Casey Palmer and Elizabeth Eger visited churches and abbeys and saw 20 organs in 12 days. They were able to play the church organ in Eisenstadt, Austria, where Joseph Hayden is buried and in a church that dates back to the 1630s. The trip was a joint effort of the music departments of Franciscan University and Duquesne University. Newsworthy Comments made by political science professor Dr. Stephen Krason were widely quoted in Philippine, Asian, and European newspapers this summer, following an open letter he wrote to Philippine President Gloria Arroyo. In his role as president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, Krason’s letter discussed the consequences of contraceptive family planning policies and urged madam president to support the Philippine bishops in their opposition to a major population control bill in the Philippine Congress. Krason is on sabbatical this academic year, serving as a visiting fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and working on a new book, The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program has been granted another eight years of accreditation. The action by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission recognizes that Franciscan’s BSN Program meets or exceeds the league’s high standards for nursing education. This fall, 128 students are enrolled in the program, which was founded in 1979.

Oath of Fidelity Taken At the August 22 Orientation Mass, new students and their parents watched as two priests took the Oath of Fidelity. Standing before Steubenville Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, director of Evangelization Father Dominic Foster, TOR, ’96 and associate director of the Pre-Theologate Program Father Richard Martignetti, OFM, pledged their fi delity to the magisterium, vowing to “accept all that the pope teaches, and the bishops in union with him.” They then recited the Profession of Faith. Each year the Oath of Fidelity is taken by new theology faculty and staff involved in spiritual ministry to students. In 1989, Franciscan University became the fi rst Catholic college in the U.S. whose theology faculty and priests publicly took the oath.. University president Father Terence Henry, TOR, Father Rick Martignetti, OFM, Father Dominic Foster, TOR, and Steubenville Bishop R. Daniel Conlon. Enrollment Trends Upward Emily Fogarty For the fall 2008 semester, Franciscan University’s overall enrollment reached 2,449, a new school record. The total surpasses the previous record set in 2007 by 15. Another fi gure trending upward came from statistics released by the American College Testing Program that showed an average ACT score of 25.3 for Franciscan University freshmen. That fi gure is 20 percent higher than the national ACT average of 21.1. Once again, students from all 50 states can be found on campus, a trend that has continued for nearly two decades. This is also the eighth year in a row that Franciscan University received a top-tier ranking in America’s Best Colleges, published by U.S. News & World Report. Two reasons for the 28th-place ranking among the elite 137 Midwestern Universities: an overall graduation rate of 70 percent, (a top-10 placement), and a fourth-place ranking for freshman retention, meaning these students returned the following year to continue their Franciscan education. U.S. News & World Report considers both of these “markers of excellence” for quality university programs. Franciscan University also received high marks for having a low student-teacher ratio of 15-to-1, and for its study abroad program in Austria, for which the school placed 35th among 1,400 schools. Historic Hotel Renovated IN BRIEF The Hotel Kartause on the same site as Franciscan University’s study-abroad program in Gaming, Austria, recently underwent a major renovation. New rooms, an elevator, a wintergarten dining area, a microbrewery, and a new lobby were among the improvements to this portion of the former 14th-century monastery. Much care was taken to preserve the character of the structure, which is on the Austrian government’s historic register. Many tourists and business travelers stay at the hotel while taking in the scenery and sights of the surrounding countryside. Franciscan Way • Autumn 2008 7

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