Justice Matters: “Reacting to the Past”

Professor Paul Wright leads the ECG 100 course Reacting to the Past, Engaging the Present: Justice in Practice and Professor Richie Gebauer leads the ECG 100 course Justice and the Common Good.  Both of these Engagements with the Common Good courses employ a unique teaching method known as “Reacting to the Past” in which students assume the roles of historical figures. Students are asked to read key historical texts and to then participate in elaborate role-playing games in which they must try to achieve “victory objectives.”  Dr. Wright explains “Reacting to the Past” in this way: “…students must in essence “inhabit” their roles, getting into the minds and hearts of those historical figures they portray.” And Dr. Gebauer explains that the goal of “Reacting to the Past” is to: “…draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve speaking, writing, and leadership skills.”

Submitted by J. Hasse, Reference Librarian

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Women and Spirit Exhibit

“Three years before Ellis Island opened, a seemingly frail sister from Italy arrived in New  York. Frances Cabrini had hoped to go to China, but Pope Leo XIII had instructed her: “Your China is in the United States.”  Thus read the entry for Mother Frances Cabrini in the exhibit:  Women & Spirit:  Catholic Sisters in America.  The three year travelling exhibit detailed the history of nuns in America.  The exhibit ran through June 2012 and was showcased at various sites including Ellis Island and the California Museum of History, Women & the Arts in Sacramento, CA.   The exhibit showed how Sisters built up the largest private parochial school system in the world, hospitals, and over one hundred women’s colleges. Mother Cabrini was featured in the exhibit and several of the items from the College’s Cabriniana Room were on display.


Mother Cabrini showcased at the Women & Spirit exhibit. Some of Mother Cabrini’s personal items include her pewter travelling set.

Posted in Together on the Journey: News from the Missionary Sisters

Justice Matters: The Power of Documentary Films

Professor Janice Xu leads the ECG 100 course The Power of Documentary Films. One of the Engagements with the Common Good courses, this course looks at documentary as a storytelling medium and examines the social and historical forces that impact documentary filmmaking. Students are asked to watch documentaries that highlight different social and cultural issues and to think critically about both the subjects of the films and the decisions of the filmmakers. Through examination of their own intellectual and emotional responses, students gain a greater sense of connectedness to those whose lives are chronicled in the films they watch.  The syllabus reads: “The documentary film is potentially a powerful and expressive means by which to educate and enlighten, providing the viewer with revealing perspectives into the multi-faceted realms of human activity. This class will discuss issues of representation, ethics, voice, forms and conventions in documentary filmmaking. It seeks to provide students a broad understanding and insights relating to various social and cultural issues through selective documentary films, and a framework by which meanings of social justice can be questioned and analyzed.”

Submitted by: J. Hasse, Reference Librarian

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Faith should engender hope, which is simply confidence in Jesus.  Hope multiplies strength a hundredfold.  “I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me”.

Submitted by:  Frances Conwell, Manager of Payroll

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Opening of Mt. Carmel School Denver, 1902

Italian School of Mt Carmel is opened
When Mother Cabrini arrived in Denver in 1902, her mission was to minister to the children of immigrant miners. In Colorado, the Italian immigrants were primarily engaged in coal mining, an industry which experienced a large number of fatalities. The Bishop of Denver, Bishop Nicholas Matz, recognized the plight of the children and welcomed Mother Cabrini and her sisters. Mother Cabrini and her Missionary Sisters opened the Mount Carmel School in Denver in 1902. The above picture is from the Denver Times Monday evening November 17, 1902. The caption speaks to the growing number of orphans and gives a glimpse into how the Italian Immigrants were regarded in the early 20th century.

The caption reads: “Two hundred little tots in gala array assembled in the new school building of Our Lady of Mount Carmel this morning to be presented to Bishop Matz and to do honor to Fr. Lepore and the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The new mission school is Fr. Lepore’s pride, and not even the parents of the dark-eyed babies in white dresses and satin slippers with Sunday ribbons a-fly-ing or the sturdy little chaps in velvet knickerbockers or blue overalls were filled with greater delight than he at the fine showing made by the roomful of foreign-looking faces. Bishop Matz in the part of his address to the parents dwelt on the fact that previous to the opening of this mission the 200 little ones had been scattered from one end of Denver to the other, many of them attending no school at all. He besought them to remember that while the children were to become true American citizens, speaking English intelligently and fluently, that they were not to forget the music, the sentiment, the pathos of the mother country and mother tongue. The Missionary Sisters, some of whom speak only Italian while others are equally at ease in English, were counseled to keep before them the finest traits of the two races and combine them for the children’s best good. Fr. Lepore is confident that from a beginning of 200 the Italian mission school will grow to 1000 or 1800 and that the building which is still fresh with new paint, will some day, and that before very long, be replaced with a much more commodious and convenient structure.”

Submitted by: A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director

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Justice Matters: On Their Own – Youth in America

Professor Michelle Filling leads the ECG 100 course On Their Own: Youth in America. One of the Engagements with the Common Good courses, this course examines social justice from the vantage point of children and young adults in America. Students in this class explore the impact of family, education, class, and gender on child and adolescent development and look specifically at the experiences of children and youths in the foster care system. Students enrolled in the course work directly with the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program, Pennsylvania Youth Advocacy Board, and the Education Law Center. The syllabus reads: “In this course, we will examine how we can contribute to creating a world that recognizes how power manifests our culture and simultaneously advocates for dignity and equality for all, regardless of difference.”

Submitted by: J. Hasse, Reference Librarian

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Invoking the Holy Spirit

“If you invoke the Holy Spirit with a humble and trusting heart, filled with good desires, He will come and penetrate into the very center of your heart. He will purify it, change it, enlighten it,  inflame it, and consume it with the flames of His divine love.”

From Words of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini compiled by Sr. Fede Nemia, M.S.C. ©1967

Submitted by:  A. Schwelm, Assistant Library Director

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