By Jonathan Sperling
JPCatholic alumna Marriann Galang was recently accepted to join the Belezza & Verita Project, an opportunity that is taking her to the heart of Rome for three months to utilize and hone her skills in creative media. She will be living only a five-minute walk from St. Peter’s Basilica and working on various projects related to art, architecture, Church history, Roman history, and Theology.
“It’s just always been a dream of mine…to live in Rome and work there for a while.” With the dream of going to Rome lingering in the back of her mind and her career path uncertain, Marriann reached out on social media to Ashley Noronha, co-founder of Belezza & Verita, whom she had previously met on the annual JPCatholic Europe trip. She received no response. Two weeks later, however, Ashley contacted one of Marriann’s classmates and offered the opportunity to their group. Marriann filled out the application and three days later found out she was accepted. She attributes the opportunity to Divine Providence. “I prayed about it a lot because I was so anxious. I was thinking, ‘There’s no way I’m qualified for a media project, seeing that I graduated with a business degree.’”
Despite her initial hesitation regarding her media experience Marriann is bringing a formidable skill set to the creative team she will be a part of. She graduated in 2016, earning her Bachelors in Business with an emphasis in Leadership and Management. The program afforded her the opportunity to design and develop websites for various school projects. For the last year she has been working for the university in the development department, specializing in research. It is this knowledge of website development and research that she expects to contribute to the team.
The Belezza & Verita Project, often referred to as BVP, was founded by John and Ashley Noronha with the goal of evangelizing through media and the arts. The husband and wife are professors and media experts with impressive resumes. BVP gathers Catholic artists of various disciplines to work under a mentor—developing art that will reflect “truth, beauty, and goodness”. Everyone brought onboard lives in the heart of Rome for one to three months, working Monday through Thursday with the weekends open to explore and learn independently. The team participates in community events such as mass, morning reflection, praying the Angelus, lunch, and prayer to conclude the workday. Living in the center of the Church provides everyone with unparalleled inspiration from architecture and the history of the faith.
Marriann says she intends to use her weekends for travel. “I’ve always wanted to go to Fatima… To fly to Lisbon is only twenty or thirty euros, so I will take advantage of that!” She says she wants to turn the opportunity into a pilgrimage, visiting the places where saints grew up and walking the streets where they once walked. “I think for the three months that I’m there my true vocation is to immerse myself… and experience what I haven’t been able to experience. It might be ugly. I might see terrible things… but it will be a learning experience!”
She sees this as a chance to step out of the normal day-to-day life she has been dedicated to for the last four years. “I really want to use this opportunity to meditate and figure out a deeper understanding of my vocation and the purpose that God has given me…”
In addition to perfecting her craft, immersing herself in rich history, and growing in her faith, Marriann plans to get out of her comfort zone by genuinely getting to know everyone in the community. “As introverted as I am, it’s going to be a challenge.” While Marriann has her goals for Rome clearly in sight, her friends are hoping for something else. “Everyone is expecting me to find a Swiss Guard. Maybe. But that’s not the main goal.”
If you would like to learn how you can support Marriann’s journey, follow the link below.