Becoming Who We Are: The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales University

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Thomas Dailey, O.S.F.S.


Catholic universities seek to provide students with not simply information for a career, but also a formation for life. At one institution, this goal is expressed in a tag line adapted from St. Francis de Sales: “Be who you are and be that well.” How can this motto characterize the institution itself and distinguish it from its educational peers? A center with the purpose to promote academic study, perpetuate a spiritual tradition, and provide community interaction provides one means for reaching these goals. This article offers an example of how a Catholic college or university might maintain and advance its foundational charism. It does this by summarizing the genesis and ten-year history of the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales University; linking the center’s mission to this distinct spiritual tradition; assessing the fulfillment of the center’s goals to date; and recognizing the impact the center has on the university, society, and the Church.

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Author Biography

Thomas Dailey, O.S.F.S., DeSales University

Thomas Dailey is Professor of Theology at DeSales University, Center Valley, PA. He was appointed in 2008 as the fi rst Fr. Louis Brisson Chair in Salesian Spirituality, he also directs the work of the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture, DeSales University, which he founded in 2000.