A new men’s and a new women’s household will be inaugurated this spring at the final household Mass of the semester.
Uniquely, all the members of the new households are freshmen, who began the process of household formation in the fall.
The Rev. Gregory Plow, TOR, coordinator of Franciscan University household life said of the new households, “Through this whole process, these men and these women are praying together. They’re praying and discerning all the things they feel the Lord is calling them to.”
Plow said households are meant to be student-initiated and student-led, so it is the hardworking and dedication of the students creating the households that allow them to be created.
Mulieres Clarae Dei
Mulieres Clarae Dei, which will be located on fourth floor of St. Thomas More Hall, will have a focus on authentic femininity and the mind, body and spirit, said freshman education major Natalie Hall.
Hall and four other women are the founding members of the new household.
Mulieres Clarae Dei translates to “Authentic Women of God.”
Member Toni Schlangen said, “We want to be focused on building ourselves first to be authentic women. Then evangelize through that by showing our love and joy to everyone and loving them through that.”
Following the first meeting as a potential household, freshman Ellen Brough said that she pooled all of her future sisters’ ideas in a word document and typed up the covenant over All Saints Break.
Brough said she felt that she and her sisters were very inspired by the Holy Spirit because they realized that small portions they were writing quoted papal encyclicals word-for-word.
Freshman Alex Oliver said, “We knew this should happen and there wasn’t any nervousness about it. We were all very excited to do it.”
Oliver will be the coordinator and Mary Catherine Jadlos will be the adviser, said Oliver.
Oliver said their logo was designed by a friend, and each part represents a pillar. The sun represents authentic femininity; the city inside of the sun is evangelization and spreading joy through the Gospel; the seven flames are for the Holy Spirit and constant conversion, she said.
Hall said, “Those are exactly what I’m looking for in my life right now because those are the things I struggle with. I want to be called on in my weakness and what I’m lacking.”
The idea for the new men’s household came directly from the Lord, said Luke Welsh, theology and catechetics major.
He said, “The Lord has brought to me a few times in prayer ‘Are you ready to die for me?’ I couldn’t answer that question ‘yes.’ So I wanted to set out on building a household that could answer that question ‘yes.’”
Welsh said that he, along with a few other freshmen in his hall, created a household that will embrace the pillars of servitude, discipline and sincerity with a central foundation in martyrdom.
The household will be located for a year in a suite in St. Louis Hall before moving to a more permanent location in 2017, said Welsh. The household’s name is Latin for “Martyrs of the King.”
Wesley St. Cyr said, “We were all a little unsure. We met on the second floor of the music room, and we prayed together. It felt right. When we started going through what we wanted in a covenant, it felt very natural and guided by the Holy Spirit.”
Dylan Sherman and Philip Ferrano will be co-coordinators next year, said St. Cyr.
St. Cyr said, “We haven’t earned the title of martyrdom yet. It’s been an easy road and it’s not always going to be easy. We’ll hit difficult times. That’s one thing I’m excited about: living that covenant when times get hard because it will eventually.”
Welsh said, “Our covenant is not a carbon copy of another covenant. Ours is different and it’s new. There is nothing ground-shaking that our household will bring to this university, but what we will bring is a spark to set this campus on fire. There are a lot of sparks on this campus. Our household will be able to add to that and catch this campus on fire with a renewed love for the Lord.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story sited Ellen Brough as the coordinator of Mulieres Clarae Dei when the cordinator is actually Alex Oliver. We apologize for the errors made in the print edition of this story. The mistakes have been corrected