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Canisius gets grant to set up theology program for high school students

Canisius College will use a $583,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment to give high school students opportunities to explore sacred scriptures, theological traditions and moral and ethical questions in depth.

The award is part of Lilly’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative. Canisius will establish The Be the Light Youth Theology Institute, a six-day residential experience for 25 to 40 high school students.

“Our unique approach for this institute will introduce high school students to what the Jesuits have called ‘the faith that does justice,’ namely, Catholic philosophy and theology, viewed through the lenses of Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy,” Canisius President John J. Hurley said. High school students entering their junior and senior year will be eligible for the institute. Students who have demonstrated an interest in growing their faith and becoming a leader in their community are encouraged to apply. A limited number of scholarships will be available.

The first session will be in June 2016, and students can begin applying online in March 2016. The institute includes hands-on social justice volunteer experiences throughout locations in the Buffalo community, learning about Catholic and Jesuit traditions and how it influences their lives, and guided reflection and prayer. The grant will support the institute in summers 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Canisius is one of 82 colleges and universities participating in the Lilly Endowment initiative.