Notre Dame Vision program for young leaders expands with support from Our Sunday Visitor Institute

By William Schmitt

Our Sunday Visitor InstituteOur Sunday Visitor Institute

Many high school-age students will experience the successful Notre Dame Vision program this summer through the generous support from OSV Institute. This year, over 1,200 young people from around the country will arrive on the University of Notre Dame campus for an acclaimed program that helps young people explore God’s call and share their unique gifts with the world.

Notre Dame Vision will host its annual series of vibrant, five-day conferences for the eighteenth year, starting in June 2019. The experiences prepare high school-age students to follow Christ more closely and evangelize their peers. Times of prayer, learning, community-building and personal reflection, hosted by the McGrath Institute for Church Life with the generous, ongoing support of Our Sunday Visitor Institute (OSVI), cultivate immediate and long-term benefits for a diverse group of emerging faith-leaders.

“Vision is a place where young people encounter the witness of the saints, participate in the sacramental life of the Church and learn how to let God’s love and grace shape their lives of discipleship,” said Megan Shepherd, M. Div., program director for Notre Dame Vision. “We provide trained undergraduate mentors, recognized speakers and engaging opportunities to prepare students to bring light to the Church and the world despite shadows of doubt.”

OSV Institute’s promise of financial support, now in its twelfth year, has provided scholarships totaling more than $400,000. “We are excited to support such a valuable initiative for our Catholic youth. OSV exists to serve the Church and our support for the Notre Dame Vision program through OSV Institute fulfills on that promise. We are so happy to provide resources that allow over 20 percent of participants to attend the program,” said Jason Shanks, President of OSV Institute.

Last year, the program attracted participants from 103 dioceses in 39 states. Notre Dame Vision is national in scope but also deeply devoted to young people in Indiana, which is home to the headquarters of Our Sunday Visitor, as well as the McGrath Institute. The OSVI scholarships help to ensure that more than 100 students, representing the five dioceses in the state (Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Gary, Indianapolis Archdiocese and Lafayette), will attend one of the program’s week-long sessions in 2019.

Participants journey through the week in small groups of eight young people and engage with one another, with priests and religious sisters and with their undergraduate Mentors-in-Faith in conversations about living out their vocations. The Mentors prepare for their role through six months of theological, pastoral and spiritual formation. The most important conversation, Shepherd said, is a many-faceted dialogue with the Lord—fostered by a memorable immersion in the fullness of the life of faith lived out. The McGrath Institute for Church Life, supported by the generosity of OSV Institute, demonstrates that the Church wants to enlighten communities responding to God’s call and is blessed with a range of resources to do so.