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

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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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