Saint Francis University is pleased to announce developments related to two new initiatives carefully designed to support and enhance its Catholic, Franciscan identity. Founded in 1847, Saint Francis University is one of the first Franciscan institutions in the country. Intentional support for initiatives related to mission-centric education is a priority for the institution. Now more than ever, the institution is seeking ways to nourish a strong community of faith and prayer among Catholic youth.
The recently launched Alta Via program at Saint Francis University enthusiastically announces the inaugural group of selected participants that will join the campus community this fall. Additionally, Saint Francis University has partnered with Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School to weave the fundamental program components of Alta Via into an exciting new offering for high school students. The program, titled Fridays With Father James, will offer Bishop Guilfoyle students an opportunity to vicariously pursue a spiritual journey along with selected peers led by Saint Francis University Alta Via Program Director, Father James Puglis, TOR.
In February, Saint Francis University launched Alta Via to offer incoming university students in the fall 2020 an opportunity to pursue an intentionally Catholic college community experience. Created for students wishing to deepen their faith along with pursuing their academic study, Alta Via offers students the opportunity to pursue their own faith journey with like-minded peers by completing curricular and co-curricular experiences. Father Puglis released that a selected group of seven students will join the campus this fall. The inaugural class is composed of students of varied backgrounds who share a heart for a similar journey of faith. Living as a community, the inaugural group will participate in routine prayer and devotion, along with engaging in liturgical services and community engagement activities.
Beginning with the new academic year, Saint Francis University is delighted to announce additional offerings to an already impressive partnership with Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School. Sharing similar missions, both Saint Francis University and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School recognize the value in fostering an innovative partnership and creating opportunities for students. The creation of the Fridays with Father James program is a natural step for both institutions. Fridays with Father James provides Bishop Guilfoyle students similar components to the Saint Francis University Alta Via program. Current BG students have been a critical component to developing the program attributes. Born out of student focus group feedback, the program includes the components of weekly mass, directed readings and discussions, contemporary music and mentorship opportunities centered on expounding upon students’ own faith journey.
Father Puglis says, “Helping students to live the gospel humanizes the mission and culture of Catholic institutions. Our goal is to profoundly affect the student’s spiritual journey and as leaders, we must provide students vibrant opportunities to spread the good word of the Lord.” The creation of the Alta Via Program and the Fridays With Father James program aligns with Ex Corde Ecclesiae, “the Church’s mission of evangelization of the world” as written by Pope John Paul II while furthering the educational mission of Saint Francis University.