STEUBENVILLE, OH—A fall break trip to Washington, D.C., turned theory on Catholic social teaching into bright reality for 40 students in Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Center for Leadership program.
The leadership program was launched in 2011 to equip a new generation of Catholic leaders to face the unique challenges of the 21st century.
The students prepped for their trip by attending an on-campus seminar, organized by the Center, focused on authentic Catholic social teaching. On November 1, they departed for the nation’s capital, where they met with George Weigel, papal biographer and one of America's leading Catholic intellectuals; Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, archbishop for the Military Services; Donald Cardinal Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C.; Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large of National Review Online and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Leadership; and area Franciscan University alumni.
The students attended daily Mass and visited the U.S. Capitol, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the National Archives, and other national monuments, including the Marine Corps War Memorial, before returning to campus.
For Camille Mica, a psychology and theology major from East Bernard, Texas, the trip deepened her appreciation of the inherent goodness of the political process. “This gave me courage and made me much more solid in Catholic social teaching,” Mica said.
David Schmiesing, Franciscan University vice president of Student Life, said the experience gave the students, “a greater understanding of the beauty and power of Catholic social teaching, and an appreciation for the unique founding principles and personalities of our nation. It also inspired them to take their places as competent, patriotic, faith-filled Catholic laity in the public square.”