Meetings with ASC leaders from around the world focuses on collaboration
The bond between Newman University and the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC) has always run deep. Newman, of course, would not even exist had it not been for the ASC, the founding sponsors of the university.
The strength of that bond was made even more powerful recently, thanks to meetings and discussions on increased collaboration with officials from Newman and members of the ASC, including the International General Administration Team.
The international team, which is based in Rome, is made up of seven Sisters from countries around the world. Some members of the team visit each region of the ASC congregation once during their six-year term. This year, five team members came to the U.S. Region to visit and for an Inter-Assembly Congress, which is held every six years and includes the General Administration Team, and Regional Superiors and Foundation Superiors from around the world.
Held at the ASC Center in Ruma, Ill., ASC Sisters were present from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Croatia, Guinea Bissau, India, Italy, Korea, Lichtenstein, The Philippines, Poland, Spain, Tanzania and the United States. Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. and Director of Development for Sciences and Health Sciences Therese Wetta, ASC were invited to join the Sisters one evening to speak about Newman, and to discuss the potential for greater international collaboration between Newman and the ASC – including possible internships and service trips for Newman faculty and students in places where the ASCs live and serve.
Several showed strong interest, while others were open to the idea but had questions about possible language issues. To continue moving the idea forward, Newman officials later compiled a list for faculty of opportunities in each country, and communicated faculty and student interest through letters to ASC Sisters in each country.
These efforts are steps toward implementing an objective in the Newman 2014- 2019 Strategic Plan to “encourage service-learning and internship opportunities for students, in collaboration with the ASC congregation, in areas of the country and world where vulnerable populations are in need.”
The team visits Newman
Following the Congress in Ruma, the international team visited Newman University. The visitors included team members Zita Resch, ASC, of Liechtenstein; Mariamma Kunnackal, ASC, of India; Nadia Coppa, ASC, of Italy; Sonia Pinho de Matos, ASC, of Brazil, and Barbara Smith, ASC of the United States. They were accompanied by U.S. Region Leader Barbara Hudock, ASC, and Janet McCann, ASC, who is a member of the Newman Board of Trustees.
As part of their visit, the team met with groups of faculty, staff and students to, as noted by Sister Mariamma Kunnacka, spend time with members of the Newman community to appreciate “the gift of you” and Newman’s collaboration with the ASC and its mission. The team asked participants to discuss the theme of their visit: “Prophetic Today, with a Reconciling Heart.” The Sisters also asked participants to consider and discuss their personal experiences of being an “Ambassador of Reconciliation,” with others and with God, in their private and professional lives. The Sisters then asked the groups to reflect on the blessings and challenges of collaboration with the ASC, and suggest what would help foster further collaboration.
Two Sisters also took part in “Fall Institute,” an annual meeting of all Newman faculty and staff that takes place a week before the official start of the new academic year.
The daylong meeting begins with the university’s traditional Opening Prayer and Reflection in the Woman of the New Covenant Chapel at the Adorers of the Blood of Christ Wichita Center. Two of the international team members, Sister Zita Resch and Sister Sonia Pinho de Matos, spoke briefly at the service and led the opening prayers.
“It was very moving and a great honor to have the members of the International General Administration Team visit Newman University,” Carrocci said. “I’m very excited about the spirit of collaboration and the renewal of international focus among our students, faculty and staff that has come about thanks to our recent encounters with the team and other Sisters. There are tremendous possibilities opening up for both Newman and the ASC.”
The Sisters also enjoyed the visit to Newman.
“The teachers are very committed to doing their best for the students, to help them find their life and make a better world,” said Sister Zeta Resch.
“I feel good, very positive about the university,” added Sister Mariamma Kunnackal, “and the opportunity students have through their education to change society. Having people with the skills to work for the transformation of society is very much needed.”