‘This I Believe’: Cabrini community shares core beliefs

By Amanda Carson
February 24, 2010

Brother Dominic Wetzel talked about how his religious order helped shape his beliefs during the Founder’s Day presentation. Katie Keller/submitted photo

Thirteen students, faculty and staff gave insight into their core beliefs in front of an audience of 150.  These personal statements from the community, rather than a major speaker, served as the format for this year’s Founder’s Day program,

The event, which was held on Tuesday, Feb. 23, featured the voices of Cabrini’s community.  The theme, “This I Believe,” was woven into each presentation, so as to celebrate the college’s “education of the heart” mission instilled by its founder, Sister Ursula Infante.

Some presenters said their beliefs were ordinary…

“I believe in miracles,” Jaiquann Beckham, freshman presenter, said.

“I believe in being there,” Sara Drew, Holy Spirit reference librarian and presenter, said.

“I believe in respecting a dork,” Kwesi Djan, freshman presenter, said.

…But each had stemmed from personal experiences.

Beckham believed in miracles because of the hard work and dedication that had been exemplified by seven track teammates from his high school.

Together they had excelled both athletically and academically, collectively earning seven scholarships.

“Seven students, seven athletes, seven scholarships, one focus, one mission, because of that I believe in miracles what do you believe in?” Beckham said.

Djan believed in respecting a dork since he has been working on accomplishing the goal of  “seeing my mom live long enough to see her son grow up and be a man she can be proud of,” Djan said.  “And that involves getting a college degree.”

Some developed their presentations from commonplace experiences such as Dr. Michelle Filling snuggling with her small nieces.

Others developed their ideas from more profound experiences such as that of junior Eleni Antipas, who as an infant, survived a near-fatal disease through the research of someone who died tragically soon after finding a cure for her disease.

Others included the belief for a desire to make a difference, snuggling, love in action, music, laughter, being there, that certain qualities are needed to be a founder, random acts of kindness, spicy chicken sandwich and that everyone has a purpose in life.

Dr. Mary Laver, director of international partnerships, gave the opening remarks for the program; Fr. Michael Bielecki, Cabrini chaplain, followed with an opening prayer.

Cabrini alumnus Heather Cardamone, ‘91, who now serves as the director of administrative services, emceed for the evening.

“I did not know Sister Ursula personally…she was not my classmate but I knew she loved Cabrini very much and loved her students,” Cardamore said.  “She would be here cheering you on and this I believe.”

The presenters each read his or her previously submitted essays.  Three, however, chose to present as a narrative trio.

A musical interlude of the song “I believe” was sung by senior Michael Krencicki and accompanied by junior Rob Stoop.

“Words and essays can’t always capture the essence of core beliefs, but singing can,” Cardamone said.

Dr. Joseph Romano, professor of philosophy, was chosen to conclude the evening’s event, as he had worked closely with Infante.  Romano evaluated the artistic, physical and ideal realities associated with knowledge. “I believe in the power of human ideas,” Romano said.

Laver made closing remarks. Upon reflecting on the presentation, Laver said “There is so much vibrancy in this community.”

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Amanda Carson

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