“Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

It has been over two months—TWO MONTHS—since my immersion trip to Ecuador. As time goes by, I find it harder and harder to process the experience that I had. I flew from Philadelphia to Miami and then from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s economic capital, with twelve other eager, but anxious participants.

I had never been outside of the country before so I was nervous that I would be so shocked by the culture that I would not be able to fully take in the beauty of the country, while still noticing the extreme levels of poverty. However, I can say that while these fears were definitely rational,

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Thankful for a Different Bird

This Thanksgiving, as food is splayed out on tables across America, we will say our prayers and count our blessings for all that has happened in the past year, and for the family and friends that surround us. We’ll dive into piles of food, laugh (or bicker) with family, and merriment will be had by all around. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and ultimately– the inevitable turkey, the “bird.”

 

And though I do indeed harbor a fondness for turkey on Thanksgiving, this year, I’m especially grateful for a different bird.

 

As a senior who will be leaving this campus in a mere six months,

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Unity Week!

Tomorrow is the beginning of Unity Week! This week is dedicated to LGBTQ identities and for that reason there will be a lot of LGBTQ centered programming. Here’s the schedule:

Sunday Nov 1

  • Movie Viewing: “For the Bible Tells Me So” – Cardinal Foley Center 4pm
    • A film exploring how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Followed by discussion with special guests from the Waldron Mercy Academy
    • Moderated by Sr. Elizabeth Linehan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Opening Liturgy Eucharistic Celebration – Chapel of Saint Joseph 7pm

Tuesday Nov 3

  • ANNUAL SPEAK OUT!

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The Pope, The Press, and An Intern: When Papal Meets Professional

It’s been a little over a week since Pope Francis visited Philadelphia, and I still can’t stop replaying scenes from those two days over and over again in my mind.

 

I was in the vicinity of Pope Francis’s incredibly moving speech at Independence Hall. I teared up when he closed with an Our Father in English, and nearly again when he waved and drove by where I was camped out in Franklin Square, to watch the speech on a Jumbotron.

 

I was there when he drove up and down the Ben Franklin Parkway just after twilight’s waning,

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POPE-A-PALOOZA

In case you just woke up from some deep slumber or have been living in a jungle and just returned to civilized society, I feel like it is my duty and obligation as a human being to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis graced us with his presence this past weekend. Many members of the Saint Joseph’s University community had the chance to see him in person either when he drove down City Ave., at the events happening downtown, or when he stopped by campus. I am lucky to be able to say that I was one of the people who had the opportunity of seeing him this weekend!

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My Papal Experience

“Wait, the pope is coming?”

This was my friend’s favorite response to whenever the topic of the Papal Visit was brought up these past few weeks. Yes, we know, the pope is coming.

Professors, the news, my family – everyone was talking about this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity.

Fortunately, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in some papal events this past weekend.

On Friday, two of my three classes were canceled so I was able to prepare myself and begin planning my papal experience. My mother even drove down from Rochester, NY to come visit and to see the pope!

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Once in a Lifetime Moment

 

    

Although I am not Catholic, I fully understand and appreciate what it means to have a Jesuit education. I also recognize that Saint Joe’s has given me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t find at many other universities. From access to certain resources to attending a national conference for free, SJU has provided life changing experiences that are not available anywhere else.

Today  I was among hundreds of Saint Joe’s students that gathered around the chapel waiting for Pope Francis to bless our new statue. As I said,

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The People’s Pope

Today hundreds of Saint Joseph’s University students lined City Avenue to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis arriving at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary around noon and then again when he departed for the Center City around 4:00. During both passes student’s enthusiasm was contagious. Cheers, including a rendition of “When the hawks go flying in,” could be heard throughout the crowd.

I couldn’t help but smile being a part of such a historic event for the city of Philadelphia and for our school. Every person I passed was grinning and excited to just see Pope Francis for a second.

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Tangled Up in New Beginnings

The Philadelphia Service Immersion Program (PSIP) at SJU is a program I hold near and dear to my heart, and not just because it saved me a few hassles moving into my freshman dorm a few days early.

 

The early move-in program takes small groups of incoming freshmen to a service site in Philadelphia for three mornings straight (while using public transportation!)– the same site every day. In the afternoon, groups explore various fun places in Philadelphia, meet professors who take them on a tour of a Philly neighborhood, reflect on these experiences,

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The color neon

It has been two weeks since I got back from my journey to the Appalachia Region, specifically Neon, Kentucky.  Neon is about an 9 hour drive from Saint Joe’s campus (12 hours counting all of the pit stops).

As a freshman, I was very reluctant to sign up for the Appalachian Experience (APEX), because I did not know what to expect, I had never done a service retreat to that high of an extent, and I was not sure if I could handle more time away from my family and friends back at home.  

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