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FEATURED SPOTLIGHT

November 13, 2018

Graduates Honored at Academic Convocation Mass

On November 3, 2018, CDU graduates from across the United States traveled to the National Shrine of St. John Paul II in Washington, DC, to attend the annual Academic Convocation Mass, where graduates are honored for their academic achievements. University Chancellor Archbishop Timothy Broglio served as the principal celebrant, and trustee Bishop Emeritus Paul Loverde of Arlington con-celebrated. Read more about our outstanding graduates below.    
Cierra Elizabeth Holt: BA Theology After moving around the United States in her youth, Cierra and her family settled in Florida. Wishing to focus on the most important thing in life, relationship with God, Cierra chose to complete her undergraduate studies at CDU. Cierra uses the knowledge gained from her studies to teach others about the Faith, especially children in her parish's faith formation program. Cierra is grateful to CDU for offering her an orthodox Catholic education, to her parents for making her studies possible, and to the Holy Trinity for blessing her continually.
Alfredo Garcia Lopez: BA Theology Alfredo Garcia Lopez, of Fresno, CA, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and emigrated to the United States in 1987. He is married with three children and is self-employed, working in the field of taxes and insurance since 1989. “Going back to the Church in 2005, I started to participate in bible studies. I now participate in several ministries at Saint John’s Cathedral,” he says. “I was looking for a more in-depth understanding of my faith and providentially found Catholic Distance University. It has been a marvelous and awesome experience to have been introduced to the wonderful mysteries of our God. I'm deeply thankful to my teachers and all the people at CDU.”
Mary McKay: MA (Theology) Mary McKay is Liturgy Director at St Mary of Sorrows. In a volunteer role she serves as a facilitator for some of the adult faith formation programs offered at St Mary’s, which is a passion of hers. “In both my paid and volunteer capacities, I use what I learned at CDU nearly every day,” Mary says. “I’m also particularly grateful to Fr Bramwell who, early on, pushed us to be precise in our language when speaking about theology.”
Maria Moore-Michels: BA Theology Maria Moore-Michels of Wrightwood, CA, first heard of CDU in 2007 from a former student. “I thought it was a tantalizing dream,” she says. “My wishful thinking, written on a napkin, became reality in 2013. Today, I am here to joyfully walk for my BA first and foremost by the grace of God who filled my life with my daughter Jacqueline, whose studies inspired me to keep learning, because of Robert my late husband’s love of the word, and because my current husband Arnie and my parents Maria Luisa and Narciso lovingly encouraged me. I thank my Lord for this unbelievable achievement in his honor, for directing me to follow him as an Oblate of St. Andrew’s Abbey, for all the children I have been blessed to teach in RCIC, and for the tremendous joy of serving him as Eucharistic Minister, Reader, and Master of Ceremonies at Our Lady of the Snows in beautiful Wrightwood, CA.”
Nicholas R. Radloff: MA (Theology) Nicholas Radloff of Dyersville, Iowa, a former captain in the U.S. Air Force and now a civilian, studied aerospace engineering at Saint Louis University. After completing undergraduate studies in 2008, he began a career as a Combat Search and Rescue Navigator with the U.S. Air Force flying the HC-130 aircraft. While on active duty, Nicholas began his studies at CDU and is grateful for the opportunity to study theology while simultaneously being deployed to many parts of the world. His courses played a role in his discernment, and he left the Air Force to pursue the priesthood. Nicholas is currently a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Dubuque studying at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois.
Suzanne Reinhardt-Johnson: MA (Theology) Suzanne Reinhardt-Johnson is married with four adult children and two grandchildren. She works part-time as a preschool teacher. After serving as a catechist for her children, Suzanne began her studies at CDU. “The convenient online classes and support of the instructors and discussion chat rooms made learning the curriculum and deepening one's faith an unsurpassed experience,” she says. She makes use of both as a catechist in multiple ministries in her home parish.
October 23, 2018

Recent BA Grad Becomes Director of Religious Education

Katlyn Lawler, who recently earned her BA in Theology, was promoted to Director of Religious Education at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Lake Ridge, Virginia, where she has worked for several years and been a parishioner for most of her life. Katlyn recently married and lives with her husband Benjamin, pictured here, and puppy in Woodbridge, Virginia. She was raised in a large family of nine who have always encouraged her to obtain her dreams. “Catholic Distance University did not just prepare me for my job but gave me an opportunity to grow in my Faith with a wonderful community of classmates and professors,” Katlyn says. “I am so grateful for my time at CDU and cannot wait to share what I have learned with my family, Parish community, and all those I encounter in my lifetime.” Katlyn began serving as a catechist aide for the church’s religious education program in middle school and continued to volunteer as an aide, catechist, and retreat leader through high school. While in college, she was offered a job as the Administrative Assistant for the Director of Religious Education for Middle School and Confirmation Prep. “Three years later,” she says, “I have graduated from CDU with a Bachelor's in Theology and have been promoted to work as the Director of Religious Education. It has been a great journey, and I love working with the youth of the parish.” As DRE, Katlyn is responsible for kindergarten through eighth grade religious education classes and sacramental preparation programs for Penance, Eucharist, and Confirmation. “My degree in Theology will not only help me as the Director of Religious Education but also as a Catholic Christian living in the world,” she says. “I am able to better dialogue with my family, help others, grow in my own spiritual journey, and share my Faith more beautifully. No matter where God takes me and my husband, I will be able to use my degree in my career, in my home, and in the world.” Katlyn attended Catholic schools her entire life, and the Faith has always been important to her. “Since middle school, I have felt called to work for Christ's Church, and my heart was always pulled toward teaching,” she says. Before leaving high school, Katlyn thought she was being called to nursing. She entered college and began to pursue a degree in that field but found that her heart was not in nursing. “After praying and discerning, I knew I was being called to teach, to pursue a degree in Theology,” she says. “I began looking for colleges and saw CDU advertised in my parish bulletin, and I checked it out. I was so excited to find a school that would allow me to continue working since I was paying for school myself. I was absolutely thrilled to be accepted and enroll in CDU.” “I love CDU and would recommend it to everyone,” Katlyn says. “It has been a blessing to be a part of the school community, and the ability to work on my courses at home or during my lunch break at work was the best. I loved being able to open up about my Faith and the Catholic Church with my peers and professors,” she adds. “My biggest takeaway from my education at CDU is the ability to dive deeper into the Catholic Church and the life of God,” Katlyn says. “We cannot just scratch the surface our entire lives; we would miss the true beauty of God. CDU challenged me to go deeper and seek God in a more intimate way. I cannot express how grateful I am to CDU and the staff who journeyed with me during this part of my spiritual and educational journey.”

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