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FEATURED SPOTLIGHT

March 26, 2023

New Course on Catholic Social Thought Offered in Summer I Term

CST 500. Foundations of Catholic Social Thought explores the philosophical, anthropological, and  theological ideas that inform Catholic Social Teaching (CST). The course will be taught by faculty member  Reverend Dr. Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer of the Archdiocese of Washington, who served on the Pontifical  Council for Promoting Christian Unity (2016–2021). Enrollment in this 3-credit graduate course is underway for the Summer I term, and classes begin May  22nd. Students will gain a deeper and more holistic understanding of CST and delve into how these  principles are fundamentally challenged by modernity, resulting in the so-called “social question.” This course sets the stage for CST 510 and CST 520, which present CST as an answer to the great social  challenges of late modernity through our present times.  
March 22, 2023

Faculty and Staff Gather to Profess Their Faith

On March 6th, faculty and staff gathered at CDU headquarters in Charles Town and via Zoom to publicly make the Profession of Faith. Bishop Mark E. Brennan of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston led the ceremony, and CDU Chaplain Reverend Boh, Pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church of Hedgesville, WV, attended as well. The turnout from both faculty and staff was impressive. Those onsite also enjoyed a Mass led by Bishop Brennan as well as fellowship and lunch together. (Pictured, from left to right:  faculty member Dr. James Kruggel, Interim Provost Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, President Dr. Marianne Evans  Mount, Bishop Mark E. Brennan, Reverend Aloysius Boh, and faculty member Reverend Bevil Bramwell.)  
March 22, 2023

Graduate Helps Counsel Domestic Abuse Survivors

Alumna Jenny duBay (BA in Theology, 2022) does not shy away from difficult situations, instead she steps boldly into them.  She knows the Holy Spirit guides her and has been opening the door for her each step of the way.  It is her deep faith and her trust in God that has allows her to firmly say yes each time she is called. Jenny started taking courses at CDU because she was a Catholic author who wanted to make sure her books were well-informed.  She needed the correct information about our faith if she was to effectively write about it. Her experience at CDU provided the foundation she was seeking, and so much more. As Jenny was working on her degree, a thought had been niggling at her that she should consider offering spiritual direction.  While that was not why she went to CDU, she understands in hindsight how critical her background in theology is as she provides spiritual direction these days.  As Jenny prepared to graduate in 2020, providing spiritual direction still seemed a long way off for her.  But God had other plans. Jenny was introduced to Hope’s Garden, a Catholic platform that supports domestic abuse survivors.  They offer coaching and a spiritual direction group, and they approached Jenny to support them by providing spiritual direction.  Jenny said yes and has been working with abuse survivors ever since. “The topic of domestic abuse is delicate,” Jenny explains.  Marriage is a sacrament, it is cherished.  Yet when domestic abuse occurs, where can one turn? The questions of those dealing with abuse are profound.  “Is my marriage valid?”  “What does God want me to do?” “Am I to put up with this?”  Domestic abuse survivors don’t know where to turn.  Often, they turn to their parish or their priest for assistance. Sadly, the parishes and priests are often unaware of the situation or how to effectively advise abuse victims.  Jenny explains that 1 in 3 women are victims of domestic abuse.  As a result, the priests, the pastors, and the parishes need to know about this and understand how to help, as there are probably many, in any given parish, dealing with domestic abuse.  As she provides spiritual direction to victims, she is equally passionate about providing education to those in parishes who can help. There are ways of supporting women in these difficult situations so that they can move forward, with their Catholic faith directing their steps.  For instance, Jenny explains, parishes can have Annulment Advocates to support those who need to consider that option.  However, few if any people are trained in this of yet.  This is where Jenny steps in; with books, articles, blogs, and newsletters, Jenny is committed to educating and helping others to navigate the challenge of domestic abuse. As Jenny said, this work is delicate.  Many people struggle. They say they are open to help but are unsure of what to do.  Often women struggle with boundaries, and then become concerned that they are being selfish and not honoring God’s wish. But women are finding Jenny and the help they need to navigate these waters.  Simultaneously, priests and parishes are learning about Jenny and the tools available to support those in crisis. Jenny recounts the story of a woman who was searching for support, stumbled upon Jenny’s website, and recognized the lighthouse pictured there. It turns out the woman lived near Jenny and was a member of her parish. There were many deep connections for these two women with God firmly at the center.  Jenny truly is a light in what can be a spiritual storm for those facing domestic abuse.  While Jenny may not know how or where the next person or parish may find her, she does know that the Holy Spirit is guiding the way.   Jenny’s digital links: https://www.jennydubay.com (primary site) https://www.createsoulspace.net https://createsoulspace.substack.com and https://prodigalparishioner.substack.com
WHAT OUR GRADUATES ARE SAYING ABOUT CDU
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As reported in CDU’s 2019 DEAC Annual Report, based on program exit survey data.

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