July 25, 2016

More than 50 teenagers from across the country gathered at The Catholic University of America in June for the University’s first annual Light the World! Institute, which explored the relationship between theology and everyday life.

During the institute, the students heard talks by University faculty members and professionals who are experts in their fields about how they incorporate faith into areas as varied as science, art, business, politics, and athletics. The students also participated in service activities and took guided trips to the National Gallery of Art, Goddard Space Flight Center, Nationals Park, and the U.S. Capitol.

Rylee Kenney, coordinator of the Light the World! Institute, said the goal of the program was to help high school students better understand how their faith should inspire their various career paths. Funded by a $565,689 grant, the program was part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes Initiative, which encourages young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues, and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

“Hopefully the Light the World! Institute will help students to see the importance their faith has in inspiring their vocation, no matter what that vocation may be,” Kenney said.