Two senior New Evangelization students discuss their senior practicum projects and Professor Stephen Kramp comments on the value of the degree requirement.
“I was really scared of being rejected and of people not coming. But it has been so fruitful, and I’ve met so many beautiful people,” said Halie Lasken, a senior at JPCatholic. For her practicum she gave five different Theology of the Body talks during this Winter Quarter. Some talks were presented to particular campus households and others were open for the whole school. At the final talk she gave a brief talk, led a rosary, and concluded the night with a Mardi Gras Potluck and Dance Party.
Instead of giving into her fear of failure, Lasken continued to ask “What does the Holy Spirit want?” With this mindset, her project was able to exemplify both the courses she’s taken with Christopher West and the wholeness of her education at JPCatholic.
John Navarette, another New Evangelization senior, has been working as a youth minister at Church of the Resurrection, organizing courses and forming teens in the Catholic Tradition. His ministry is a “combination of social, service, and intellectual aspects”, evangelizing teens in a twofold educational and spiritual way. He is able to use his minstry as a platform to fulfill his practicum project.
“[The ministry] challenges me personally to see how much I’ve learned” said Navarette. He stated that even after everything he’s learned at JPCatholic, it’s a whole new challenge to evangelize because it’s “learning the best ways to apply it” to a particular audience. It’s ultimately “about having a personal connection,” he said.
“It’s been an exciting thing,” said Professor Stephen Kramp, Chair of Humanities. “Within the New Evangelization emphasis, we obviously want to have people learning how to develop technical skills to help them with their evangelization, but we also want to give them the opportunity to do something practical and to get out into the faith community and into the world where they may have the chance to make a difference.”
Kramp acts as the advisor to New Evangelization students working on practicums. They work together to see “what kinds of opportunities are out there for some real evangelization…and what the connections are that we’ve already established”. Together, they decide on a project and plan it out. They meet regularly to ensure it goes well.
The New Evangelization degree requires a fulfillment of New Evangelization Practicum I and Practicum II. These are traditionally done over the course of two quarters, although exceptions have been made to complete them both over one ten week period.
Even though the New Evangelization emphasis will be moving under the Humanities degree for students arriving in the fall, the program will still include a practicum requirement. Other programs under the Humanities will continue to require seniors to take a Humanities Capstone Seminar to fulfill their degree.