Posted: Tuesday Jul 26, 2011
Dr. Michael Krom, assistant professor of philosophy at Saint Vincent College, directed a new residential summer program, Faith and Reason, a one-week introduction to the Catholic, liberal arts tradition, from June 13 to 17 on the Saint Vincent College campus. The participants of the week-long camp included nine students, two counselors, one director, and six instructors. Each day of the camp featured seminar discussions, Mass in the Mary, Mother of Wisdom Student Chapel, and daily prayer in the grotto in the crypt of the Saint Vincent College Basilica. The camp students also participated in recreational activities such as Frisbee, golf, and whiffle ball, and daily outings that included a hike to Wolf Rocks in Linn Run State Park, an astronomy show in the planetarium, hikes throughout the Saint Vincent College wetlands, and attending a Byzantine liturgy at Saint Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Trauger.
Director Dr. Krom said that the goal of the program was to “kindle our natural desire for Wisdom, and to recognize its satisfaction in the use of our reason guided by faith.” The mission of the camp could be observed in action by watching the students making connections between ideas covered by the readings and the deepening of their appreciation for the Catholic intellectual tradition’s nuanced approach to faith and reason.
Dr. Brett Robinson, assistant professor of communication at Saint Vincent College and one of the instructors for the camp, helped students learn how a Catholic liberal arts education connects to the study of advertising and media. His seminar focused on giving students a chance to investigate advertisements as a collection of symbols that speak to the human experience. Students discussed the role of media in the formation of human identities and communities. Dr. Robinson reflected that “from seminars to daily prayer to storytelling to athletic contests, the Faith and Reason program experience demonstrated the value of an education that reaches the whole person.”
One student, Hannah Gorsich, said that she learned about herself and her faith while meeting new friends. Another student, Jenna Gorsich, reflected that she “enjoyed the seminars. Most of them were on topics I never thought about, and each got me thinking about different things.” She also found that throughout the week she learned about true happiness and would definitely attend the camp again.
Dr. Krom concluded, “This was a fantastic start. My hope for next year is to increase enrollment and offer two ‘tracks.’ Second-year students will be given an opportunity to select topics in advance in order to tailor the education to their interests.”
Pictured, from left to right: Rev. Tom Hart, O.S.B.; Mary Vanden Berk, Latrobe; Dr. Michael Krom; Christopher Depp, Uniontown; Lauren Gates, Pittsburgh; Bridget Malley, Trafford; Ryan Gilbert, Delmont; Isaac Davies, Greensburg; Lucas Briola, Crafton; and Samuel Tima, West Mifflin.