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Best of the Week 2018-2019: Holy Cross Values

STUDENTS GET CREATIVE ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD'S EXISTENCE For their summative project on the Paschal Mystery, Class of 2013 graduate Mr. Owen Williams' sophomore Theology class used their creativity to answer hypothetical questions about God's existence. Choosing to either write a blog or film a vlog, students answered the question, "How is God real?" through written or visual explanations of their beliefs. "I love this project because it provides the students with an opportunity to respond to a real-life scenario, using what they have learned in class in a creative way that matches their interests. It gave both the writers and the filmmakers among my students an opportunity to showcase their unique gifts," says Mr. Williams. For example, sophomore Andy Milla's vlog created a compilation of 2D illustrations pieced together through film to tell a story and explain his theological point of view. Within Andy's video, he references St. Thomas Aquinas and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, saying, "God is not the Supreme being, but rather, He is the supreme idea of being itself. Rather than a loving God, God is the essence of love and brought into existence all that is good." Andy adds that we are all made in the image and likeness of God and are created to be good and, therefore, are called to do God's will. It is through God that we are endowed with a soul and humanity and, if we take time to step back and acknowledge our love for God, our love will be enough for Him. Andy concludes his video, stating that whether or not we find ourselves in good or bad positions in life, God will always be there for us. Instances of pain and suffering are meant to be learning experiences that will deepen our knowledge and faith in God and, through patience and perseverance, we can ultimately find faith in the Lord. "Andy first came to me with the idea to create a stop motion video immediately after I rolled out the assignment in class. He was incredibly excited about the opportunity to use these gifts that he has in filmmaking to complete this project and I could not be more excited about his finished product," says Mr. Williams. "Andy's project was unique because of its format, his attention to detail and his beautiful illustrations that really brought his ideas to life for viewers. He touched on major themes we've been discussing in class, but his final statement of the video, 'Ultimately, we find love by the Lord,' quite beautifully gets to the core of what I am working to do in class each day: to help my students recognize their inherent goodness and the overwhelming love that God has for each of them." Throughout Mr. Williams' sophomore Theology course this year, students have been exploring the ways in which one can come to know and speak about God. One of the key concepts of this course is relationships - with God, self and others. "I think it's incredibly important for students to engage in respectful dialogue and form relationships with those who might differ in opinion or religious belief. This project gave them the opportunity to practice this skill and helps prepare them for the real world. Not everyone will agree with you, and some might do so in a hostile way, but we want our young men to be beacons of love and goodness in a world that is in desperate need," says Mr. Williams. "Blessed Moreau speaks beautifully about educating the whole person - the hearts and minds of our students - so that they will be people with hope to bring to the world. I think this project gave the students the opportunity to be formed both in their hearts and minds, to assess their knowledge of specific course content, and most importantly, it gave them an experience to understand the ways in which other people view God." Watch Andy's vlog here:

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