Easter springtime is already beginning to dawn for us in the JP2 Project as our [sometimes grueling] behind-the-scenes preparations are permeated with a new light.  With our first group of students solidified for the summer study abroad program, work just became a bit more exciting.

Hailing from 11 different institutions across the US, we have in mind these 13 unique individuals. We can’t wait to welcome them, like Claire from Louisiana State University and Jacob from Benedictine College, Kansas. Having a taste of their characters and pursuits, visible through their applications and communications up until now, has been a gift. We thought it’s time to share:

“As a Catholic attending a secular university, I have encountered multiple challenges from professors and students on matters related to religion. These encounters were the first time anyone really tested my beliefs, and I was often subject to ridicule and judgement…I hope to participate in the JP2 Project Study Abroad Program because I want to embrace St. John Paul II’s challenge to “be not afraid.” Much like St. John Paul II, the JP2 Project challenges us to sacrifice comfort and to strive for greatness. It delivers truth, believes in our ability to give of ourselves, and equips young people to answer Christ’s call…As I venture towards sainthood, I hope to cultivate a culture full of love and truth, and I truly believe that the JP2 Project will empower me to do just that.”

-Anne, excerpt from Application essay

Meet Anne, from Rice University, Texas, who discovered the JP2 Project at Focus’ SLS18 Conference in January. Though many of our participants are majoring in either psychology, theology, and communications (since the courses offered this summer are in those fields), Anne is an Economics-Philosophy double major, with a minor in Medical Humanities. On campus, she is a a rower for the Rice Crew team, a representative on the Medical Humanities student board, and committee chair for the Filipino Foundation at Rice. In addition to enjoying the outdoors and reading books, Anne spends her free-time volunteering at a local health clinic that addresses unmet needs and gaps in health-related services. Through a diabetes project, she helps educate families on how to prevent and manage diabetes with educational cooking classes in tasty and nutritious meals. 

Anne’s one of the 10 fantastic ladies who fills our women’s suite opening this year: the only room that still needs to be furnished! While the men’s suite, staff suite, and phase one of the living room, dining/study room, have already been covered by donors (praise God!), the ladies’ suites needs everything! Whether you can give big, such as a solid wood bunk-bed, or small, like a bath mat, please consider contributing to the “Fill their Flat” campaign to create a warm and beautiful home-away-from-home, conducive to restful sleep and community living. The students arrive in May, so we only have a few weeks to meet our goal, purchase everything, and furnish the JP2 Project wing of the John Paul II Be Not Afraid Center!

Though our registration for the summer study abroad program is technically closed, we still have 2 spots open for men. Feel free to invite any late-comers who may want to join the group! 

Please keep our team and these daring and eager pioneers in your prayers. May our hearts be open to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit!