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Press Release: First DeSales Group Completes Year-Long Catholic Hero's Journey
Date: 6/8/2006

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First DeSales Group Completes Year-Long Catholic Hero's Journey

Fourteen DeSales University students, all members of the Class of 2007, and three Oblates from DeSales completed the year-long Catholic Hero's Journey (CHJ) in May. It is the first group from DeSales to complete the process. Participants in the program are featured in the article (with photo), "First Cohort of DeSales Students Completes Catholic Hero's Journey," in the current issue of Catholic Leadership Institute's (CLI) newsletter on May 17, 2006 (link below). The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales and the Catholic Leadership Institute collaborated on the program, which was tailored to the teachings of St. Francis de Sales. The program was funded through the generosity of Frank Ryan and the Ryan Family Foundation.

According to Father Thomas Dailey, OSFS, director of the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture at DeSales, the university's patron saint, Francis de Sales, championed the idea that holiness is for every person, not just monks and nuns, and that the devout life can and should be lived in the midst of worldly professions. "We believe that his saintly wisdom, coupled with the successful dynamics of the CLI program, has and will continue to offer our best students the opportunity to grow in unique and lasting ways," said Father Dailey.

The year-long CHJ program begins with an openingLeaders Experiential Adventure Program retreat, followed by 10 monthly sessions with a CLI coach, web support, audio CDs, a workbook, and a co-operative learning team/small faith-sharing group. It concludes with a retreat, during which the participant integrates his / her mission with the mission of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

As part of completing their program, the DeSales students decided they would like to impact campus by increasing awareness of the Salesian identity through a variety of social and public activities.

"If I had to name only one thing I could take away from this experience, one thing that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, it would be St. Francis de Sales' challenge to 'be who you are and to be that well'," said Amy Stocker, a medical studies major from Bangor, Pa., in the CLI newsletter article. "CLI and the Oblates have passed that message on to us. Now it's our turn to pass on that message."

The complete article from the Catholic Leadership Institute newsletter can be found at:


The photo with the article was taken at the Malvern (Pa.) Retreat House earlier in May.

Pictured are: (l to r)

Row 1: Frank Ryan, who helped to fund program; Father Peter Leonard, OSFS, dean of undergraduate education at DeSales; Father Thomas Dailey, OSFS, director of Salesian Center for Faith & Culture at DeSales; Father Doug Burns, OSFS, coordinator of DeSales' Sport & Exercise Science Program. Lisa Yingling, medical studies major from Fallston, Md.; and Johanna Fellmeth, Spanish major from Warrington, Pa.

Row 2: Brian Radziwill, communication major from Cherry Hill, N.J.; Matt Ottinger, medical studies major from Schnecksville, Pa.; Erin Frey, biology major from Hellertown, Pa.; Amy Stocker, medical studies major from Bangor, Pa.; and Joseph Newman, biology major from Toledo, Ohio;

Row 3: Megan Flynn, program coordinator with CHJ; Jason Benincasa, sport & exercise major from Bensalem, Pa.; Malorie Kaczor, management major from Allentown; Daniel Gardenier, TV / Film major from Harleysville, Pa.; and Achille Scache, English major from Glenside, Pa.;

Row 4: Ryan Connolly, biology major from Easton, Pa.; Matthew Lezinsky, finance major from Bethlehem, Pa.; and Matt Manion, president & CEO of CLI.

Not pictured: Elizabeth Pfister, nursing major from Shippensburg, Pa.;

Press Release: First DeSales Group Completes Year-Long Catholic Hero's Journey | Posted on: 6/8/2006

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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