Testimonies

Colleen Testimony

Colleen Walker

Ave Maria University

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the world with other young Catholic leaders who were on fire for the faith, and I will be forever grateful to have participated in this adventure. During the Fellowship, I grew in my leadership, my understanding of the Catholic faith, and my relationship with Jesus. My experience with CWF reinvigorated my passion for leading others to the truth and renewed my hope for my generation.

Sophie Moffett

Sophie Moffett

University of Michigan

I believe that every young Catholic leader should experience the depth and beauty of the Catholic Worldview Fellowship. I wanted this program to change my life. It did. The Fellowship taught me to view our world and my own life, past and present, through the lens of a Catholic Worldview, not through the lens of the modern, secular world. Through insightful academic lectures, deep intellectual conversations with friends, and the fruits and graces of prayer, I realized for the first time what it means to have Christ at the center of my life. It means that in all things, academics, sports, leisure, relationships, all is for the glory of God.

I didn’t know that such freedom and joy was possible for myself. But it is, and I am so incredibly grateful to the Catholic Worldview Fellowship for transforming my relationship with Christ. It enables me to be most fully alive, and to more authentically and joyfully bring the light of Christ to my friends and family, college campus and the world.

Colleen Testimony

Michael Henze

Clemson University

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship is an experience like none other and I am so grateful to have participated. The students who came from universities across the country were incredibly talented and inspiring to be around. We all decided to come on the Fellowship for different reasons, but shared a common desire to grow closer to Christ. This common goal allowed for an intense unity that I never imagined as we prayed, played, and studied together.

The experience of prayer in community with so many other people who are strong and passionate about their faith lifted my soul to God. I pray that many more students can share in this opportunity.

 

Sophie Moffett

Catalina Scheider Galiñanes

University of Notre Dame

This summer, I studied abroad in an authentically Catholic environment, where I experienced true integral student formation. In my time spent at Schloss Wissen, in rural Germany, as well as in the hustle and bustle of Rome, I truly encountered God, through powerful religious programing, as well as rigorous academic classes.

My experience at the Catholic Worldview Fellowship was personally transformative, for both my faith life as well as my academic enrichment. Through philosophy and visits to important historical sights, I developed a deeper understanding of the Catholic worldview. I experienced the beauty of Rome as the heart of the West and the home of the Roman Catholic Church. The leadership classes, as well as one-on-one coaching, allowed me new insights into my own personality. As an active student leader, the Catholic Worldview Fellowship has empowered me to lead well. I am excited to return to campus with a renewed passion for evangelization, as well as deepened knowledge surrounding the history and philosophy of Western civilization.

Colleen Testimony

Bailey Burke

University of Michigan

I came into the Catholic Worldview Fellowship feeling rather lost. I had just graduated, and (after attending a public university), felt ill-equipped to go out and be a witness to my faith in the “real world.” But the fellowship met me right where I was at, and was exactly what I needed. I had been weary about even applying because I wasn’t sure how I would pay for the experience, but in prayer I felt a nudge in my heart that this was an opportunity that God wanted me to have. And He provided abundantly, both monetarily and with the community I found at Schloss Wissen.

The fellowship has changed how I see God, and how I see myself. The fellows and the staff that walk alongside you are truly incredible. I’ve never felt so fully alive. The classes and outings are all amazing; I learned more in a few weeks than I’ve learned in whole semesters. And the free time and community time are packed full of fun activities! I don’t think there’s a better way you could spend your summer. Aside from equipping me to be a Catholic leader in our secular culture, my experience on the CWF has made me start to understand what Christ means when He says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

 

Sophie Moffett

Emma Cervetti

Clemson University

I don’t even know where to start! The Fellowship was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Looking back to my decision to commit to it, I just remember, at the time, a lot of things going wrong in my life, but where I stand today, I am so happy and appreciative for that. Every day, the Fellowship challenged me to grow in ways I never thought I would. I honestly didn’t know much about the program or what to expect. Not knowing is something that typically fills me with a lot of anxiety, since I like to be in control, but for the first time I can remember, arriving in Germany with no expectations wasn’t stress-inducing. I felt so calm and excited for the month ahead of me, and it truly was the best month of my life.

I was poured into on the Fellowship in so many different ways by my peers, the instructors, and the spiritual directors. I was able to be open and honest and authentically myself with everyone, and I was met with love and kindness. I was supported and encouraged in my faith and my relationship with Christ, not only in the classroom or by the spiritual directors, but also by every other Fellow, whether it was a late night conversation with my roommate, a group discussion over lunch, or a walk through Xanten with my new friends.

I made friendships during this experience that will last a lifetime. I cannot imagine the person I would be going into my senior year of college without this experience. I am more secure in myself, my relationship with and identity in Christ, and, by extension, my relationships with other people. By the end of the Fellowship, I was a wreck. I cried the day we all left, mourning the most incredible month I had ever experienced with the most incredible people I had ever met. I asked myself, “What do I do now?” And for (probably) the first time, my first answer was to turn to Christ. However, my second answer for myself was to reach out to the friends I made on Fellowship. I am forever grateful for this remarkable experience that has made me, at the heart of it all, a happier and more loving daughter of Christ.

Kate-Testimony

Kate Beecher

Benedictine College

After hearing wonderful stories about the Fellowship from various sources, I was filled with enthusiasm to attend this program. However, nothing of this world could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. Having stepped foot for the first time onto Schloss Wissen soil, I was greeted with open arms and immediately welcomed into the community.

The Fellowship is made up of unique, talented individuals who all share a common love for God. To be surrounded by leaders, both the Fellows and the staff, each reflecting a different aspect of the Body of Christ, left a feeling of wonder and awe that was not shaken throughout the entire time I spent with them. We broke bread, drank wine, sang, laughed, and cried together. We shared in each others’ days intimately, and for that we became forever bonded. The Lord came to us in the classroom, in the beautiful art, in the inspiring music, and most of all in each other.

I am grateful for all that was given to me during the time spent on this program and to the sacrifices made to help it happen. Now that it is over, I hope to encourage others to come and see for themselves the goodness of the Lord manifested in the Catholic Worldview Fellowship.

Nick Kompar

Marian University/Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship was far more than just a month of coursework. The Fellowship gave me a rich experience of Catholic living. Alongside 28 other college students, I pursued truth in the classroom, beauty in churches, and goodness in conversation at meals. We began and ended each day in prayer as a community, thus everything flowed from and to Christ. I deeply treasure the community I have found during these last weeks, and it has encouraged me beyond words to be surrounded by such peers. 

Catholicism has the amazing ability to take shape in any culture of any age bringing forward the best of each. Positively, this program did not teach us how to defend the faith but rather how to advance it. We are called to be cultural leaders of our day.

Attending lectures led by a professional business coach over a proven model of leadership has excited me for the possibility of leadership in my own life. CWF has given me a vocabulary to define the leadership I strive to emulate and concrete steps toward achieving this end.

At the close of this program, we had achieved far more than just three college credits (although we did do that too); we had truly experienced the good, the true, and the beautiful. Now our time has come to go out and live it. This journey was not meant to end in Europe but had formed us to go make disciples of all nations, proclaiming the kingdom of God through the witness of our lives. Our habits of prayer, study, and leisure were intended so that we might share them with a world starving for these very things, starving for God. It is with great joy that I say this program has made a lasting impact on my own life.

Ashley Kraker

Saint Mary’s College

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship gave me more than I could imagine. I learned so much about the Catholic Church and its deep history, rich truths, and beauty. I truly feel empowered to evangelize culture and share the good news of Jesus after experiencing and being immersed in the Catholic worldview.

One very powerful way I experienced this was through the people around me during the fellowship. The fellows and staff inspired me by their witness to Jesus and their pursuit of holiness, and they taught me the importance of community and joy as we all journey to Heaven. Through them and being in some of the most beautiful churches, I could feel the Holy Spirit breathing life into His Church.

This fellowship helped me as a whole person grow, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. I have been shaped so that in my daily life and wherever He leads me in my life, I can be a strong Catholic leader and follower of Christ. I will carry the lessons and memories from this fellowship with me for my entire life. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I got to learn about the truth of the Church, explore the world, and grow closer to God through this fellowship.

Kelly Lane

University of Notre Dame

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship was the single greatest decision I have made thus far in my life. For an entire month I had the chance to learn and grow in a community that supported me spiritually, socially, and academically. The people I met and the experiences we shared will remain with me long after the fellowship is over. Each day on the fellowship was filled with overwhelming joy and an abundance of curiosity. Through the classes and conversations, I now feel fully equipped to be a young Catholic leader in today’s world. The fellowship truly is “a little slice of Heaven.”

Brian Doupnik

University of Texas at Dallas

I anticipated the Fellowship to be an incredible experience, and it exceeded and challenged my expectations in every way. The instructors were experts, the setting was idyllic, and the prayer  time was more fruitful than I could have imagined.

Most of all, though, I was surprised and ignited by the community of the Fellowship, which formed before my eyes. My CWF family was – and still is – warm, zealous, supportive, challenging, and most importantly passionate about striving to be the saints God has called each and every one of us to become.

Natalie Dykmann

Benedictine College

Going into the Catholic Worldview Fellowship, I had no idea what to expect, but it greatly exceeded all I could have imagined. The program is centered on studying philosophy and experiencing culture, but the extent to which the Fellowship forms the whole person is indescribable.

The idea of studying modern culture from a philosophical perspective can seem very intimidating but through the wisdom of the staff, they were able to make the classes tangible for anyone. The program truly seeks to form not only form the intellectual side of the person but the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects. Through the staff and the amazing community, I was able to grow so much as a person and continue to grow post-fellowship because of the love and support from all across the world.

Teresa Kenny

Texas A&M University

The Fellowship is a powerful experience in which  I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone. I learned confidence in myself in and out of the classroom, all the while exploring my faith and relationships in the light of Christ. The Fellowship isn’t a study abroad program.

It is a transformative, immersive experience into how I as a Catholic student should approach the world around me.

Amanda Fischer

St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship in one word is encounter. And that is exactly what Pope Francis has asked our culture to do: encounter one another.

Each and every day on the Fellowship is centered around many encounters with the Lord through fellowship with one another, through learning about Christ and about how to become Catholic cultural leaders, and through experiencing the historical sites that indicate how the Catholic Church has influenced culture throughout the centuries.

Being surrounded by some of the most amazing individuals and Catholic leaders that I have ever met and witnessing the tradition and heritage of our faith on a whole new level is something that I will hold near and dear to my heart for as long as I live.

The Fellowship brings together the most amazing individuals from all over the world and, by living in communion with one another, bonds us into a spiritual family that is extraordinary; it is a taste of Heaven.

I didn’t think this amount of spiritual and personal growth was possible within the duration of a month, but this incredibly life-changing Fellowship proved me wrong. It taught me that sainthood is still possible in the 21st century.

It showed me that I can live a life of holiness no matter what my vocation ends up being. It revealed to me that the Catholic Church is God’s gift on Earth to show us all the way to true happiness, wholesomeness, and fulfillment no matter what culture you come from or what your personality or temperament is.

Lucas Hoffman

Benedictine College

The CWF was a fundamentally life-changing opportunity for me to encounter new places, people, and ideas. I was able to witness the love above language which God has for each of us. I would do it all over again if I could!

Samantha Lynch

University of Florida

It’s getting harder and harder moving forward post-Fellowship to picture my life before the Fellowship because it didn’t have the souls I encountered during the Fellowship. The incredible community literally changed my life in the most positive way and now I can’t picture my life without them.

Danielle Sullivan

University of Texas at Dallas

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship ruined my life in the best way possible. The Fellowship changed the way I live, experience the world, and view my time on earth. Through this Fellowship, I explored and reclaimed my identity, mission, and Catholic faith.

It was such a blessing to live in a community of unique, faith-filled young adults with a common mission and their eyes set on God. By embracing God’s will for my life, I am now experiencing freedom like never before. I believe in the call of Catholic Leadership; to be a light in the world and give orientation to an ever-shifting culture.

Try spending a month enlightening your mind, recalibrating your worldview, growing in virtue and see if God doesn’t radically transform your life. I experienced what it means to be truly alive, and I never want to let that go.

Trey Mohler

University of Notre Dame

The Fellowship is an encounter with others, an encounter with oneself, and an encounter with God. It was incredible to see thirty-two people bind into a community in just a day, a community that was not just superficial friendship as can be found easily on any college campus, but also a sincere desire for the sanctification of others.

The CWF forms the fellows to bring the spirit of Christ out into the world, changing culture one encounter at a time. We experienced in community and in solitude a profound encounter with Jesus and a calling for more, a calling to bring the truth and love of Christ to others, a peace and joy that knows no bounds.

Prayer, intellect, and encounter with others combined to form the most powerful tool of formation, touching the human being on all levels. The key is being open to God’s path and letting him do the work.

Lindsey Harrison

University of Florida

I didn’t really know what to expect when I applied for, and then attended, the Catholic Worldview Fellowship, all I know is that I am so glad I did. Having had few expectations for the experience and trying to keep an open mind and positive attitude about everything that would come my way, time and time again I was met with pleasant surprise from the people, the activities, and the course material.

Never in my life have I had such blessed encounters- whether those were with the beautiful nature that surrounded our historic German home, the impressive staff and dynamic fellows, the holy places we visited, or with our Lord in almost every aspect of the day.

Participating in this fellowship is something I will hold in my heart forever as a time that strengthened and established so many elements of my spiritual life, and also gave me a community that I hope to continue growing and identifying with for quite some time. So many moments, alone in reflection or fully engaged in community, revealed to me who I am, who Christ is, and who I am called to be through him, and because of that I felt like on the fellowship I was in exactly the right place at the right time. This program is without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever done and I feel so much more equipped to go out into the world and be a light because of it.

Allison Steusse

Benedictine College

For most people on this trip, one of the biggest impacts immediately from CWF was their first experience of a solid Catholic community.  Now for me, I grew up in an amazing Catholic homeschooling community, I attend one of the most strongly Catholic colleges in the U.S., and for the past two years I have worked at one of the biggest Catholic summer camps around. 

I was coming in with the weight of the past year: a lot of huge, difficult family changes along with having poured myself out as an RA then a camp counselor and overall felt tired, emotional, lonely, and just done.  Sure I was in Europe for the first time, but I did not feel like I belonged there.  But Our Lord surprised me.  He helped me to learn to rest, led me in to steps of immense healing, and showed me I actually belonged in this fellowship. 

It was such a diverse group, and I don’t think I would have befriended most of these people otherwise but each one loved me in a way I most needed to be loved.  Each fellow, each staff member has entered their own special place in my heart.  I am grateful for a community, a true fellowship, that has forever changed me and will always remain close.

Jonathon Taccolini

Grand Valley State University

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship was one of the most impactful and important three-credit courses I’ve ever taken.  To be able to spend an entire month in prayer, contemplation, study, and fellowship all revolving around developing a Catholic identity and a Catholic worldview is an invaluable experience that every Catholic could benefit from. 

In our busy, day-to-day lives, we seldom have the chance to steep ourselves in the mysteries of the faith and become truly enculturated by the traditions of the Catholic Church.  And yet, if we hold these teachings and traditions to be the Truth, we have an obligation and privilege to explore them and bring them into the chaos and busyness of our lives. 

The Catholic Worldview Fellowship provides a first step—a sort of demonstration or example—of how this can happen.

Caroline Beecher

Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame

This experience far exceeded any of my expectations.  I was tremendously impressed with how comprehensively the fellowship inspired spiritual, academic, leadership, and cultural development.  The incredible staff was organized and attentive—they planned every detail! 

The curriculum was strong with vibrant guest speakers, and the structure of the program promoted what I know will be a lasting community of faithful friends. Unbelievably transformative!

Kimi Phelan

Texas A&M University

This experience doesn’t come and go with the wind but is carved into our hearts to remind us of where and to whom we belong. We are some of the lucky few that have experienced Heaven on Earth and know where we are called to live eternally.

Hannah Hill

Grand Valley State University

Going into the fellowship, I was hesitant to respond to God’s call to have me there. I was unsure if it would be worth the time and money and if it was really where God wanted/needed me to be.

It wasn’t till returning home with  the experiences that I had and the friendships I made, that I realized why God wanted me to be a part of something so special as this fellowship. I began to see how God had worked in my heart while there and the many graces I received from this trip.

Nic Caridi

Santa Clara University

I couldn’t tell you what my favorite aspect of this fellowship was. All I can say is go for it, experience it yourself. The staff are some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, but in such a personable way that it was never imposing.

The fellows became some of my best friends almost immediately. Germany is beautiful and Rome is gorgeous. Experiencing all of these different components of the fellowship together in one month gives you the time, the flexibility, and the community you need to realize and become the change you’d like to see in the world and the change you’d like to see in yourself.

This fellowship is equally introspective as it is building community, experiencing culture, and absorbing information that you would never normally encounter. I came into the fellowship questioning everything, with a built up disdain for religion. The community you experience on the fellowship is like no other, I never experienced an ounce of animosity, an ounce of intellectual arrogance, only respectful dialogue.

I was welcomed in and was given the opportunity to ask the questions that had always bugged me. CWF gave me some of the answers I needed to realign the direction that my life was headed back towards what I wanted it to be.

See if the Fellowship is Right for You!

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