Students find spiritual inspiration on campus

Published: November 20, 2015

                                                                                                                                                                               								                 Submitted photo : Alex wasalinko FLOWERS BLOOM in the Rose Garden neighboring the Sacred Heart Chapel.

SUBMITTED PHOTO /  ALEX WASALINKO FLOWERS BLOOM in the Rose Garden neighboring the Sacred Heart Chapel.

MICHAEL MAZZUCA
Staff Writer

We are told that the first people who existed, Adam and Eve, began life in the Garden of Eden. The story depicts the devil tricking Eve into picking an apple from the tree of knowledge, and therefore God punished all mankind. The Christian dogma of the Trinity asserts God to be foremost and that He will greet us when we pass away.

God is traditionally viewed as human-like with long, white hair across the face and on top of the head. However, students might not all agree with that representation. They find divinity or personal spirituality through a variety of spaces.
Some – like senior Alyssa Biondo and junior Kateri Sternberg – find God in nature.

“In places like the Rose Garden or at night on the (Dionne) Green where it is just that silent aspect and be one with your thoughts and talk to God,” Biondo said.

“I find God in the quiet moments when I’m in the Rose Garden or in mostly outdoor spaces. Just quiet moments when no one is around and I can just be with myself and my prayer and with God,” Sternberg said.

Campus Minister Fred Mercadante and seniors Raul Ferrari and Megan Esty explained how they each found God when they were alone hiking or sitting on campus

“(During the) struggle to hike somewhere,” Mercadante, who leads camping retreats, said. “Sometimes I need that physical aspect to remind me that I need God in all aspects.”

“There is not really specific place. [I guess] me being by myself walking outside. I would just say outside,” Ferrari said.

“I find (God) in the theater. A lot of the times when I got a lot going on in my life I’ll stay here or come back when its really late at night and I’ll just sit in the theater in the dark with the ghost light I guess saying my prayers – if you can call them that – or you know talk to whoever might be listening,” Esty said.

Other students connect God and spirituality to retreats and service trips.

Graduate student Kristie Farrigan said about spirituality that “individual prayer and at church is where I mostly see it, but I see it a lot on the service trips.”

Junior Tom Nancoz will be going on the upcoming Death Valley retreat for the second time.

“I really find (God and spirituality) through the retreats. Also, being a leader on retreats, I have to talk about experiences in my life and look back and see how God affected your life for the better and how things work out,” Nancoz said.

Senior Genny Francis works in the Office of Campus Ministries.

“Whenever I’m with some of my closest friends where I can talk to them about God it’s easy to him there. Sometimes it comes up more abstract so speaking in conversation with people related about spirituality or just seeing people smiling and their circumstances or their attitudes remind me of God,” Francis said.

The University is a Jesuit institution where many students feel linked to God. Each student has her or his own way of finding God at The University and on his or her own personal spiritual journey.

Contact the writer: michael.mazzuca@scranton.edu

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