March 16, 2012
Ana Samuel ‘00
Research Scholar , The Witherspoon Institute, Princeton, NJ
“As an undergrad, what I most appreciated were the efforts FT (Fr. Tom Mullelly, the Chaplain) and others made to bring the Eucharist to the Princeton Chapel. That feat alone, the creation of a Blessed Sacrament chapel within the Princeton Chapel was perhaps the greatest achievement of the Aquinas Institute during my four years there. The Princeton chapel became a home for Catholics. It was easy and helpful to stop in to say ‘hello’ or pray for a few minutes on the way to, or from the library, esp. during exam or thesis crunch time.
I also appreciated the daily noon mass and the Sunday liturgy very much.
After graduation, I was especially grateful to the Aquinas Institute for giving RCIA instruction to my fiancé, now husband, Diego, who was not a Princeton alum but was extended the same family affection/ camaraderie by the Aquinas Institute that we students were accustomed to. Father Tom also baptized our two daughters since our marriage, so Aquinas continues to play a central role in the Catholic life of our family.”
March 5, 2012
Christian Sahner ’07, GS, Rhodes Scholar writes from Beirut
I first met the Aquinas Institute in the fall of 2003, during my freshman year at Princeton. It became one of the anchors of my undergraduate life – a place where I could grow spiritually, intellectually, and socially among terrific friends and supportive clergy. Aquinas seemed to sum up John Paul II’s call to pursue fides et ratio – faith and reason, the two pillars of the Christian life. I learned this through countless Aquinas activities, whether an inspiring Sunday sermon in the University Chapel, a Bible study among close friends, or in my work as one of Aquinas’ student leaders.
Now, as a PhD student at Princeton, I have the privilege of serving the Aquinas Institute as a mentor and graduate assistant. I am proud to be able to give back to an organization that has given me so much, and in turn, watch the transformations in the lives of a new generation of undergraduates. Thanks to the invigorating presence of Aquinas, Princeton has truly become one of the finest “Catholic universities” in America.
Christian is currently doing research for his PhD in Beirut, which he describes as an amazing place – I live in a predominantly Christian neighborhood filled with churches and shrines to our Lady. I’ve found an especially nice Maronite Church for daily mass – good for the soul and my Arabic!
March 4, 2012
Fr. Pablo Gadenz ‘88 Priest of the Diocese of Trenton on the Faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary, Seton Hall University
“My future vocation to the priesthood was awakened during my years at Princeton. I began to attend the Aquinas Institute’s daily Mass in the University Chapel and was also involved in a number of activities organized by the Catholic campus ministry. I look back with gratitude on the opportunities I experienced there. “
February 25, 2012
Fr. Ray Harris ‘89, Saint Agnes Parish, Priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore
“One of the joyful memories of my Princeton experience is my participation in The Aquinas Institute. In my application to Princeton, I noted that my years of matriculation would be used to discern whether God was calling me to public service or to the priesthood. Through participation in Aquinas activities, I enjoyed wonderful fellowship with the pastoral staff and fellow Catholic Princetonians. It also opened the door to enriching ecumenical and interfaith activities on campus. My participation in the Aquinas Community was crucial in growing in my Catholic Faith and discerning that God was calling me to serve as a priest.”
February 22, 2012
Fr. Mike McClane ‘01, Parochial Vicar, St. Paul Parish, Princeton, NJ
Canon law student at the Catholic University of America. Ordained May 2006, Diocese of Trenton, Princeton class of 2001.
“Because of Aquinas my faith was nurtured through daily Mass and the light-giving presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the Marquand Transept of the University Chapel. All of the Aquinas activities, from engaging lectures, to bible studies, to opportunities to sing in the choir or just to be with friends, were very important and meaningful to me. Aquinas helped me to pray and discern my vocation in the midst of active campus life; I will be ever grateful to God for this.”
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