A Profound Pilgrimage

Ohio Wesleyan earns national recognition for Chaplain's Office program

Ohio Wesleyan University students Michelle Meyer (from left), Betsy Dible, Meghan Finneran, Associate Chaplain Kelly Adamson, and Andrew Hennessy spent a week in May traveling throughout Ohio to study the lives of saints. Ohio Wesleyan has earned a national award for the Catholic Spring Pilgrimage program. Photo courtesy of OWU’s Office of University Chaplain

The Catholic Campus Ministry Association is recognizing Ohio Wesleyan University with a 2010 Exemplary Program Award for the university’s Catholic Spring Pilgrimage experience. Ohio Wesleyan earned the only Exemplary Program Award given this year in the category of “Developing Leaders for the Future.”

As part of the honor, Ohio Wesleyan will be recognized at two upcoming Catholic Campus Ministry Association events: The annual Bishops’ Breakfast on November 16 in Baltimore, Maryland, and the joint National Convention of the association and the National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry on January 6, 2011, in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Based in Cincinnati, the Catholic Campus Ministry Association is a national professional organization providing “visionary leadership, formation, and resources that empower Catholic campus ministers and the broader Church to become transforming instruments of Christ for the academic community and the world.” Its annual awards recognize excellence in campus ministry programs and activities.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Catholic Spring Pilgrimage, overseen by the OWU Chaplain’s Office, involves students traveling the state for one week each spring to meet with Catholic leaders and laypeople. After their experience, the students plan a fall retreat to share their newfound knowledge with the full campus community.

“In addition to forming more effective leaders for peer ministry in the campus setting, this pilgrimage program prepares students to be leaders of the future,” says Kelly Adamson, Associate Chaplain and Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Ohio Wesleyan. “It broadens their knowledge and intellectual understanding of the faith; it touches their spirits and encourages them to deepen their commitment to faith-filled service; and it exposes them to leaders of the church today.”

OWU students who participated in the 2010 pilgrimage, “Encountering Saints,” are:

  • Betsy Dible of Sunbury, Ohio. Dible, who will be a sophomore in the fall, is a graduate of Big Walnut High School.
  • Meghan Finneran of Wooster, Ohio. Finneran, a junior, is an international business major and graduate of Central Christian High School.
  • Andrew Hennessy of Chesapeake, Ohio. Hennessy, a junior, is a philosophy and religion major. He is a graduate of Saint Joseph High School.
  • Michelle Meyer of Grove City, Ohio. Meyer, a senior, is an English major and graduate of Central Crossing High School.

Hennessy describes the pilgrimage as both moving and memorable. “This week has impacted me by giving me a new vision of the saints as people who I can be like, not just legends,” he says. “I believe now that I can be like them if I am strong, or simple, enough.”

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