Be a Part of Encuentro

We invite you to examine, explore and engage with us.


About

Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute is a year-long program for rising high school sophomore, junior and senior girls that seek to awaken an encounter with God, self and other young women in an inclusive and sacred space.

Encuentro begins with a week-long residential summer theology institute, June 10–16, 2018, and continues throughout the school year with formative events in the fall, winter, spring and summer.

Group Spiritual Direction (GSD) is a ministry that encourages spiritual seekers to reflect on their everyday life experiences in order to explore and share about their spiritual journey and their relationship with God.

We meet every first Sunday of the Month. Please email us if you would like to be part of our GSD.

contact us

Phone: 651.690.6046
Email: encuentro@stkate.edu

Address
Theology Department
St. Catherine University #4099
2004 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105

Vision

Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute inspires women and girls to be theologically formed leaders in the local and universal church.

Mission

Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute empowers high school girls and their mentors for transformational leadership through the pursuit of wisdom. For the sake of the common good and love for the dear neighbor, Encuentro cultivates a culture of encounter through dialogue in local communities.

Program Goals

Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute proposes that leadership qualities will be developed through the following goals as the high school girls and mentors:

  • Examine diverse charisms in the Catholic theological and spiritual traditions.
  • Explore contemplative and communal spiritual practices in the Christian tradition.
  • Engage in intergenerational & intercultural dialogue while addressing complex and urgent ethical dilemmas.
  • Become equipped with tools and skills for vocational discernment and decision-making.

Who We Are

Lilly Endowment Inc. High School Theology Institute initiative  

In November 2015 St. Catherine University received a grant to establish Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute. This grant is part of the High School Youth Theology Institute initiative sponsored by Lilly Endowment Inc., which seeks to encourage high school girls to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

St. Catherine University is one of 82 schools participating in the Lilly Endowment Inc. Religion Initiative. The schools are located in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

The Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family—J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. and Eli—through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company.

The Lilly Endowment exists to support causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector.

Staff and Leadership 

Program Co-Directors

Christine Luna Munger, Ph. D., Professional Faculty and coordinator of the Spiritual Direction Certificate

Claire Bischoff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology

Mentors

Encuentro: St. Catherine Theology Institute adult mentors support a team of girls throughout the school year to develop and enhance critical thinking skills, engage in intercultural dialogue and practice spiritual disciplines that will shape their emerging identities.

The Encuentro mentors are an intergenerational and intercultural cohort committed to:

  • Mentoring high school girls for four years.
  • Discern the role of theological education in their own professional and ministerial contexts.

Program Details

Applying for the Program

Encuentro is for rising high school sophomore, junior and senior girls.

The application is available below, under Application and Recommendation Form.

Prospective high school girls will need to:

  1. Write a brief statement describing why they wish to participate in Encuentro.
  2. Request the recommendation of one caring adult from their parish and/or school community.

The application deadline is February 1, 2018. We are still accepting applicants—please apply as soon as you can to secure a spot for Encuentro 2018–19. You will need to read the handbook and submit registration forms.

What to Expect from the Program

Encuentro: St. Catherine University Theology Institute is funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. Theology Institutes for High School Youth Initiative. Thanks to this generous initiative, there is no cost to the young women and their families for Encuentro participation.

Encuentro is designed to last one year and begins with a week-long residential summer theology institute June 10–16, 2018.

During the week-long residential summer theology institute, you will stay in the University residence halls, share meals in the campus dining hall and participate in variety of fun activities.

You can expect a daily rhythm of communal prayer, theology classes, reflection, dialogue, mentor team activities and on-site visits to local communities and service site.

During the week, you will meet your mentor team. Alongside your mentor team throughout the school year you can expect to build relationships and develop skills and tools for vocational discernment and decision-making.

The week ends Saturday, June 16, with a celebration meeting of parents, adult mentors and participants.

After the week-long residential summer theology institute you will be required to attend four formative events during the school year and keep in communication with your mentor team.

Encuentro will meet for formative events four times during the school year. High school girls will be issued a calendar with these four formative events for the fall, winter, spring and summer by the end of the week-long residential summer theology institute. If you have conflicts with attending these events please notify your mentor and Encuentro leadership team.

You will continue to examine, explore and engage in your faith through the fellowship of your Encuentro cohort and adult mentor. These ongoing opportunities will include practices learned during the week-long residential summer theology institute such as spiritual direction, communal worship, and topic-centered sacred conversation, with a special emphasis on group spiritual formation and intercultural competence.

Yes. Encuentro will accept 30 girls for this year. Since our space is limited, we will base acceptance on ability to commit to the full week and year. Prospective high school girls that cannot attend the full week and four formative events during the year are still welcome to apply and should note attendance restrictions on the application.

Yes. Your daughter will be supervised and cared for during each Encuentro event.

During the week-long residential summer theology institute Encuentro staff and resident assistant will supervise all participants Staff are required to pass a criminal background check and child safety training.

In addition, St. Catherine University Public Safety is staffed 24 hours per day year-round on campus. Your daughter can call 651.690.8888 at any time, day or night with safety concerns. Public safety officers perform routine foot, bike and vehicular patrols of all University property. All officers are certified in basic first aid, CPR and use of defibrillators.

For additional questions regarding safety and supervision, please call us at 651.690.6046 or email us at encuentro@stkate.edu.

Five Formative Events

First Event: Week-long Summer Residential Institute

Arrival details for the week-long residential summer theology institute:

Where: St. Catherine University, Building on campus: St. Mary Hall (refer to campus map)
When: Sunday, June 10, 2018
Check-in time: 2–4 p.m.

Departure details for the week-long residential summer theology institute :

The week-long residential summer theology institute ends with a celebration meeting. Encuentro adult mentors will be communicating and meeting with your daughter during the year. It is for this reason that parents are required to attend this celebration meeting. It will be a time for parents to meet the adult mentors and exchange contact information as well as ask questions. Both parents are encouraged to attend, however, only one is required to attend. After the celebration, all participants are free to leave campus. We will look forward to seeing you again in the fall. If your parent/s are unable to attend please contact us.

Celebration Meeting Event Details
Where: St. Catherine University, Building on campus: Coeur de Catherine Third Floor, Rauenhorst Ballroom. (refer to campus map)
When: Saturday, June 16, 2018
Time: 1–3 p.m.

Additional Event Information

Second formative event
When: TBD
Where: St. Catherine University, Saint Paul

Third formative event
When: TBD
Where: St. Catherine University, Saint Paul

Fourth formative event
When: TBD
Where: St. Catherine University, Saint Paul

Fifth formative event
When: TBD
Where: St. Catherine University, Saint Paul

How do I get to St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus- Building St. Mary Hall and Coeur de Catherine?
St. Catherine University's St. Paul campus is located two miles southwest of downtown St. Paul.

Getting to St. Mary Hall and Coeur de Catherine Rauenhorst Ballroom
St. Mary Hall is located behind The O’Shaughnessy building and kitty corner to the Coeur de Catherine. Please refer to the campus map.

Where do I park?
Parking at St. Catherine University is free for all events all day Saturdays and Sundays. No permit is required to park in The O’Shaughnessy lot, or other lots on campus these days.

For arrival and departure parking, please enter St. Catherine University GATE#4 from Fairview Avenue and park in The O’Shaughnessy lot.

Application and Recommendation Form

Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in Encuentro 2018–2019 can apply now!

Once we have received your application, we will notify you of your admission status. Accepted young women will need to complete and submit a registration packet to secure a spot with Encuentro 2018–2019.

Handbook and Registration Forms

View and complete this packet once you've been accepted to the program.

supporters and vocation partners

St. Catherine University

St. Catherine University
Alan J. Silva, Assistant Vice President and Dean School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences and college for Women

Theology Department

Campus Ministry

Music Ministry Alive

Conrad Hilton Project

Religious Communities

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet—St. Paul Province
Sr. Jean Wincek, CSJ St. Paul Province Leadership Team

The Sinsinawa Dominicans
Sr. Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P. Prioress of the Congregation

Benedictines of St. Paul

Parish Communities

Ascension Parish
Anne Attea, Pastoral Associate
Fr.Dale Korogi, Pastor

Holy Rosary
Rev. James A. Spahn OP, Pastor
Cesar Cruz, Youth Minister

Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis
Estela Villagran Manancero, Director of Latino Ministry

Lumen Christi Parish
Fr. Paul Feela, Pastor

St. Alphonsus Parish
Fr. Donald Willard CSsr, Pastor
Luz Zagal, Hispanic Ministry