St. Kate’s to launch theological institute for high school girls

| January 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

A new project slated to begin in July at St. Catherine University in St. Paul seeks to bring together high school sophomore and junior girls from diverse backgrounds for theological education and spiritual formation to help them become leaders in their communities.

Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute is made possible through a $600,000 grant as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative. “Encuentro” is Spanish for “encounter.”

During the four-year grant period, the project will aim to educate and encourage 140 high school sophomores and juniors, along with mentors from local schools and parishes, according to a press release. The first institute this summer will be on St. Kate’s campus and include theological coursework, spiritual practices and local service projects.

According to St. Kate’s, the program will help participants examine diverse charisms in the Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions, explore contemplative and communal spiritual practices in the Christian tradition, gain tools and skills for vocational discernment and decision-making, and engage in intercultural dialogue while addressing complex and urgent ethical dilemmas.

The changing demographics of the Catholic Church prompted St. Kate’s to participate in the project; by 2050, it’s projected that 60 percent of U.S. Catholics will be Latino.

St. Kate’s theology department faculty Christine Luna Munger and Deb Organ will direct the project. St. Catherine University is one of 82 schools in 29 states and the District of Columbia participating in the Lilly Endowment initiative. For more information, contact

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