Univeristy 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.
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.
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.
St Mary’s College, South Bend, Indiana
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!
University of Georgia
Jesus brought me to the fellowship in the most adventurous and round-about way, and continued to unveil to me the beauty of jumping in with both feet with every person I met, class I attended, and outing I went on. I knew we would be studying philosophy and culture, but never expected how much I would learn about myself, and about how, with a trusting heart and a stubborn love for souls, my talents could be integrated with and amplified by those of others. The friendships formed with other fellows and staff are already proving to stand the test of distance and varying time zones, and my relationship with Christ has remained unwavering since my return home. The good fight hasn’t gotten easier, but my resolve is renewed and I stand empowered and deeply humbled when I consider the family, and the faith, that I have received through this program.
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.
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.