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Canisius College hosts 'Be The Light Youth Theology Institute'

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Wed, May 18th 2016 02:05 pm

High school students entering their junior and senior years are invited to take up residence at Canisius College, from July 5-10 for the inaugural "Be the Light Youth Theology Institute." The six-day experience is for students interested in deepening their understanding of faith, theology and justice, while becoming servant-scholar-leaders in their communities.

During the weeklong residential experience, participants will explore topics in Catholic theology and philosophy, Jesuit spirituality and values, and the ways these inform responses to issues of justice relevant in the Buffalo area. Canisius clergy and professors will be among those who will provide academic instruction for each day. Participants will also engage in service-immersion experiences throughout the city, and have opportunities for individual, communal and sacramental reflection and prayer alongside Canisius' undergraduate student leaders.

The "Be the Light Youth Theology Institute" was established at Canisius in December after the college received a $583,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment. The award coincides with a larger youth theology initiative supported by the Lilly Endowment, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues, and examine how their faith calls them to live lives of service.

"Our unique approach for the 'Be the Light Youth Theology Institute' will introduce high school students to what the Jesuits call 'a faith that does justice': Namely, Catholic philosophy and theology, viewed through the lenses of Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy," said Canisius President John J. Hurley in announcing the establishment of the institute.

"At Canisius, we are ideally situated to help students understand how issues of justice are truly present in an urban setting like Buffalo, and how faith and reason can form their responses to these issues," added Stephen Chanderbhan, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy and director of the institute.

The cost for the "Be the Light Youth Theology Institute" is $300. That includes food, housing and transportation throughout the week. A limited number of scholarships are also available. Students of any faith tradition, or those of no faith tradition, are welcome to apply. However, space is limited to 25 participants.

For more information or to apply to the "Be the Light Youth Theology Institute," visit www.canisius.edu/btli or contact either Chanderbhan, at 716-888-2223 or Sarah Signorino, assistant director, at 716-888-2424.

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation.

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