Saint Francis University has announced the launch of Alta Via, a dynamic opportunity for incoming students to deepen their Catholic faith and benefit from curricular and co-curricular experiences aligned with the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi.
“At Saint Francis University, we’ve seen the impact that our Catholic faith leaves on our students, and we desire nothing more than to expand and deepen that same impact in a more potent and refined way,” said Fr. James Puglis, T.O.R., Director of Campus Ministry at SFU and the program’s spiritual advisor.
Meaning “the highway,” Alta Via is an intentionally Catholic college community that will be open to a select group of incoming students beginning in the Fall 2020 semester. In addition, ten Alta Via participants will receive scholarships which are renewed annually as long as the student remains in good standing.
Members of the Alta Via community will develop and strengthen their ability to follow, ever deeply, Christ crucified and accompany others as they do the same; they will enjoy a residential experience among a group of peers sharing in the same intentionally Catholic experience; and they will bond with other participants through specially designed sequential courses all four years at SFU. The participants will share in regular commitment experiences, have access to specialized speakers and retreats, and share in community service activities. Their experience will culminate senior year with a group pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi.
“The term Alta Via comes from a path through the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy. The path is famous for its treacherous and sketchy terrain with rusty metal anchors to aid ascent,” said Fr. Puglis. “Saint Francis of Assisi lived in the Umbrian Valley and loved places like this….places of prayer that reflect both beauty and challenge.”
The Alta Via program is designed to provide a deliberate peer community for students to explore their faith in ways meant to broaden their personal development. Students seeking to develop their Catholic faith according to sound doctrine and spirituality will find themselves at home within Alta Via with daily Mass, Eucharistic adoration, and Marian devotion. Founded on the truth of the Catholic faith, Saint Francis seeks to pass down a deep love for truth, beauty, and goodness in the context of an intentional community of faith.
Alta Via at Saint Francis University