Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Fundraiser and open house held for Catholic Studies department

Anna Hummel
Kristen and Ben Clapper speak at Catholic Studies Open House on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2023.

Loyola promoted the Canizaro Center for Catholic studies at their annual iGiveCatholic fundraiser. Their intention is to fund an organization dedicated to a uniquely Catholic vision.

On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, Loyola promoted the Canizaro Center for Catholic Studies with the goal of raising money for the program’s Rome study abroad program, according to Bree Higginbotham, coordinator for the Canizaro Center for Catholic Studies.

The study abroad program is semester-long and based at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, available only to Catholic Studies students. The program offers courses in the Loyola core, philosophy, and religious studies, according to Loyola’s study abroad website.

Senior music major Melissa Moore is one student who was able to go to Rome through the study abroad program. Moore described the program as the greatest opportunity she has been given at Loyola.

“It was amazing. First of all, in the location where we were living, we had access to all of Rome. We could go anywhere we want. A lot of us went all over Italy,” Moore said.

One thing Moore said she appreciated about the program was the diversity.

“I had never lived in a more diverse city or college,” she said. “There were over fifteen countries represented. Just getting to eat dinner with people from all over Africa and Asia was just really wonderful.”

In a speech to a crowd of students, alumni, faculty, and donors, Moore also spoke to the impact that the Rome program had on her faith.

“I felt called by St. Thomas Aquinas, by the holy spirit through him, just to grow closer to the Lord, closer to my Catholic identity, to my community. And that is exactly what happened,” said Moore.

The fundraiser served as an open house to connect donors and alumni with the new interim head of the Catholic Studies program, Fr. Mark Mossa. Mossa touted the program’s weekly Catholic Study nights where students gather for mass, dinner, and other activities, such as guest speakers or serving the homeless. Mossa also celebrated the return of the Sodality of Our Lady to Loyola, what he describes as a long tradition of students gathering in prayer and celebration of their Catholic identity.

Guest speakers and alumni Ben and Kristen Clapper (‘07 and ‘06) rounded out the evening by speaking about their own experience in the Catholic Studies program, discussing their work on campus to evangelize to the student body and advocate against abortion, bemoaned the renaming of Loyolapalooza into Crawfish in the Quad, and their hopes for the program.

“The goal of the Catholic center is to encounter Christ. That is fundamentally the goal. And I think the fruit of that, the fruit of reading the gospels together, the fruit of encountering Christ together is just really strong relations,” said Clapper.

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Anna Hummel
Anna Hummel, Photo Editor
Anna Hummel is excited for her position as Photo Editor. Anna is a senior mass communication major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business analytics. She is passionate about telling stories through photos. In Anna’s free time she enjoys swimming, reading and art.

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