Students from Lewis University and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota traveled together to Israel and the Palestinian Territories over winter break as part of a pilgrimage. Organized by University Ministry, the students visited Bethlehem University, encountered the people of the Holy Land and visited many of the key sites including Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee.
“The pilgrimage gave us an opportunity to broaden our perspective and be more culturally aware,” said Yolanda Franco, student leader. “The best way to learn is to experience something yourself and this pilgrimage did that.”
During the Fall semester, the students met by video-conference in four joint pre-trip meetings. Some of the themes included pilgrimage, the book “People of the Book,” and contemporary Middle East. Most of the Lewis University students were enrolled in Dr. Dennis Cremin’s, professor of history, Pilgrimage in History workshop.
“Pilgrimages provide a unique opportunity for students to explore their faith and lives as they encounter God in the everyday world,” said Michael McKeon, university minister for social justice education.
The Lewis students that attended the pilgrimage were Elizabeth Japczyk, Theresa Marten, Eric Seiberlich, Yolanda Franco and Megan Zeugner. They were accompanied by seven students from St. Mary’s University.
McKeon, Cremin and Dr. Dominic Colonna, professor of theology, coordinated the travel study with two staff members from St. Mary’s University. The group was also accompanied by Brother Peter Iorlano, who has taught for a number of years at Bethlehem University.
Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.
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