Texas Expansion Update - 4th Quarter 2016
Our capital campaign to expand the Houston Study Centers is just $2.2 million short of our $15 million goal!
We need your help to close this gap quickly, since the new Sheridan center is already housing staff and activities, and the Westcott center is scheduled for completion in Spring 2017. Please consider a year-end fully tax-deductible gift in support of our work.
Recent Photos of the New Sheridan Center
CHAUCER STUDY CENTER PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT
Chaucer’s program The Grade has hosted four monthly sessions so far this school year. At the November 12 session, our young men participated in seminars to help shape their development and plan for their future. Freshmen applied the case study method to discover the meaning and value of temperance, and discussed the virtues necessary to be a good family man. Sophomores and Juniors brought their resume, “dressed for success,” and participated in mock interviews with professionals to prepare them for future job interviews. Seniors discussed the origin and reliability of Scripture and the history of archeological excavations beneath St. Peter’s Basilica and Tomb.
The Grade is a pre-professional program to prepare students spiritually, morally, intellectually, and academically for life after high school. All participants in The Grade are assigned a mentor, who helps them process what they have learned from the sessions and maintains contact with them between sessions for continuity.
Westcott Construction Update
The new Westcott Study Center satellite location is making good progress in its construction. When it is complete, this satellite location will be able to host classes, seminars, and activities for up to 100 students at a time, and will also provide living space for 14 resident staff to mentor program participants. We expect the center to open in Spring 2017.
Chaucer Success Story
At first glance, José Ting would not seem a likely candidate to be influenced by the work of Chaucer Drive Study Center. He grew up in the Valley in South Texas, hundreds of miles from Houston, in a family that had no involvement with the work of Opus Dei. But thanks to Chaucer’s state-wide connections, he was able to attend silent retreats at the Featherock Conference Center in Schulenburg, Texas when he was in high school. The retreat experience began to influence and shape him, and he wanted more.
José’s involvement deepened when he began his freshman year at Texas A&M in College Station. There, he began to attend Chaucer-sponsored weekly Circles, monthly Reflections, and annual conferences for spiritual formation and mentoring. José says that these influences completely changed the kind of person he wants to be, giving him the desire to live for God instead of just living for himself. Now he strives to present quality work and use of his time as a sacrifice to God and a blessing to other people.
He was also impacted by two summers he spent in service through Opus Dei, one in the Midtown program in Chicago and one in the Crotona program in New York City. These programs gave him the opportunity to mentor underprivileged kids, and they were a big turning point in his life. Through them, he saw that he wanted to take his faith and his work seriously.
José credits his involvement with Chaucer for another big life decision: getting married and starting a family shortly after his 2014 college graduation. While modern culture often encourages young people to delay starting a family in order to experience more freedom for themselves, José saw value in the selflessness of marriage and fatherhood, especially as his wife is a strong supporter of the life he wants to live. Now he plans to raise his baby daughter with the same ethic of service to society that Chaucer has helped instill in him.
José is currently in his third year of medical school at UT Houston, where he leads his campus chapter of pro-life organization Physicians for Life. He continues to participate regularly in Chaucer’s spiritual formation activities to maintain rooted in the priorities that are important to him.