BY SARAH ALLISON
The men’s household In His Image celebrated its 35th anniversary at Franciscan University of Steubenville during Homecoming Weekend, which reunited current members of the household with In His Image alumni. Andrew Koehler, sophomore, has been a member of In His Image since early March and was able to meet alumni who graduated as early as 1983.
“We have a reunion every five years,” said Koehler. “There were a bunch of old members, including two founding members, which was pretty cool to see. They were super happy to see us.”
In His Image members visited restaurants off-campus, but also attended Mass and celebrated Lord’s Day on campus. James Roman, sophomore and household coordinator, said that about 30 alumni attended. Several brought their families with them.
“It was a true joy to be with members of the past and share their enthusiasm for household, its direction, and each of their experiences and stories,” said Roman.
Roman is one of the five current members, four of whom live on campus. Among these are Koehler and junior Nico Cabrera.
“This was the largest Lord’s Day we’ve had,” said Cabrera, who has been a member for slightly over a semester. He described his own experience of joining In His Image – wearing an intent shirt to the Household Life Mass and seeing the excited reaction of the household coordinator.
Despite its small size, In His Image is currently the longest-running household at Franciscan.
“It began as a household called ‘The Rock’ in 1978,” said Roman. “However, The Rock did not have a streamlined vision for the household that all the members could adopt.”
In 1980, several members of The Rock split to form their own household, which they named In His Image. They wished to build up a more prayerful and holy atmosphere. In His Image survived even after The Rock became defunct, but still experienced its own difficulties over the years.
“A couple of times, In His Image almost died out,” said Cabrera.
Roman went into more detail about the history of the household and its struggles. “There have definitely been very rough patches, most notably the past eight or so years,” he said.
At some point, the members of the household became more of a clique, focusing on traditions such as the household mascot, the beaver. In the process, said Roman, they strayed from the original emphasis on emulating the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“In essence we became known as the party household,” said Roman. Over the past few years, however, they have sought to reform the household in order to return to its original prayerful environment.
“Although our numbers have significantly dropped, we are hoping that now is the time when In His Image will make a comeback on campus,” said Roman. “We members are vehemently dedicated to preserving the good while purifying the bad.”
In His Image has taken part in many activities and ministries around campus, such as participating in a coffee house and running a booth at the St. Francis Festival. The household’s charisms include an atmosphere of joy and seeking to serve the Lord and to reflect the image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.