All Marian University first-year students got a chance to learn more about their faith as they took part in an on-campus first-year seminar ‘Live the Franciscan Legacy' retreat in mid-October. The retreat kicked off with a panel discussion led by Sister Mary Beth Gianoli ’78 OSF, and Associate Sisters Carla Castano, Ph.D., Michelle Meer 81’ MSW, Joyce Horton, Ph.D., LaTonya Turner Ph.D., and Jamie Higgs Ph. D.
Students were invited by Marian’s University Ministry department to learn about the saints featured in the stained-glass windows of the St. Joseph Chapel.
“Father Barry led our first stained-glass talk in the St. Joseph Chapel and I loved hearing about his own journey and travels in Austria as he shared the significance of the edelweiss flower incorporated in the image of Sister Hackelmeier," said Holly Gastineau-Grimes, Marian’s first year seminar director and assistant professor.
MacKenzie “Kenzie” Taylor ’26 said she enjoyed the retreat. “Something that stood out to me was how most of the sisters changed their major throughout their journey, Taylor said. That gives me a peace of mind about not being decided on what I want to do and that it will still be okay.”
Students also wrapped up the experience with service projects led by University Minister Amanda Scanameo. Students packed more than 400 sack lunches for Wheeler Mission, and nearly 40 tie blankets were crafted for men, women, and children.
"I was truly heartened by the enthusiasm and the genuine care that students poured into the service projects - we had an assembly station of students making and stacking peanut butter sandwiches, others looking up creative, fun slogans to decorate the lunch bags for Wheeler Mission, and a dedicated clean-up crew to help get all the lunches packed into Scanameo's car for delivery!"
“I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to experience all the activities at our FYS Franciscan Retreat, Marian Student Za Par ’26 said. One thing I want to work toward in my life as a student and as a person, is to build and follow Franciscan sponsorship values on my journey through my vocation.”
The full two-week retreat concluded with students reflecting on how they saw themselves as part of the Franciscan legacy.