Knowing Who We Are
An individual’s personal identity is shaped by certain distinguishing qualities—physical features, personality traits, special talents, sacred beliefs, and philosophical perspectives. This identity helps us discern one person from another. Essentially, your identity makes you who you are within the broader society.
At Marywood University, our Catholic Identity is likewise formed by distinctive characteristics—our Catholic faith, our IHM heritage, and our Alphonsian spirituality. These qualities are woven into our identity. Each member of the university community contributes to who we are, why we are, what we do, and how we do it. We are all partners in the Sisters’ vision for Marywood, and we have a responsibility to reflect this identity to others, person to person, on a daily basis. It is a value that defines Marywood’s place within the family of Catholic institutions worldwide.
Someone asked me, “Don’t you have to be Catholic to share in Marywood’s Catholic Identity?” The short answer is no. Catholic Identity isn’t about membership; it’s about relationship—with God and with others, with those who are like us and those who are different from us. Affirming human dignity by how we live and how we treat each other is a hallmark of this cherished value. It flows from a strong Catholic intellectual tradition, which promotes the harmony of faith and reason, as well as a deep commitment to serve others. This is a value of inclusion, not exclusion.
While this issue of our magazine may not answer every question you have about faith in general and Marywood’s Catholic Identity in particular, it provides a meaningful look at relationships and perspectives, framed by our cherished spiritual heritage, core values, and mission. May it also inspire you to look deeper, challenge yourself, and aspire to something more.
SHERYL LYNN SOCHOKA
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