Category Archives: Saints and Scholars

Saints & Scholars

Pray with Saints, Learn with Scholars, Heal the World!

The Saints & Scholars Summer Theology Institute is a one-week, pre-college program that provides an exciting opportunity for high school students to live on a college campus, have seminar discussions guided by great faculty, and share community-building experiences with other students from around the country. Our goal is to support the spiritual and intellectual growth of the next generation of leaders—you! If you want to become a scholar who knows the wisdom of Christian tradition and a saint who has the courage to put that wisdom into action, join us!

Program Costs – recently reduced!

A program fee of $400 $100 covers classroom materials and lunch for each day.  Limited financial assistance may be available upon inquiry.


Saints & Scholars: July 20-24, 2020


Arrival and Departure Information

If you are attending the Saints & Scholars program only, check-in time is on Monday, July 20th from 8-8:45 AM.

Saints & Scholars Tuesday-Friday begins with Morning Prayer each day in the Saint Joseph Chapel at 9 AM. Every day ends with Vespers (Evening Prayer) in the Chapel, which concludes no later than 4:30 PM. Participants must depart campus at the end of Saints & Scholars no later than 6 PM on Friday, July 24th.

For all coordination of arrival or departure logistics, please contact Andrew Ouellette at or (574) 239-8305.

CSC School/Parish Program

For students from high schools or parishes operated by the Congregation of Holy Cross, we are pleased to offer a special discount. The cost for Saints & Scholars is only $300 – and that includes everything. If you wish to participate also in Notre Dame Vision, the $300 will be your deposit and Notre Dame will follow up for the remainder (and our registration page will indicate how you might be able to qualify for extra aid from Notre Dame, too).

For all of you not from a CSC school or parish, remember that your regular cost is also already discounted, and we do have additional financial aid available. If you are in need of additional financial aid, contact us at


FWSB Diocese Program

For students from the local Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese, we are pleased to offer a special discount. The cost for Saints & Scholars is only $300 – and that includes everything. If you wish to participate also in Notre Dame Vision, the $300 will be your deposit and Notre Dame will follow up for the remainder (and our registration page will indicate how you might be able to qualify for extra aid from Notre Dame, too).

For all of you not from the Diocese of Fort Wayne South Bend, remember that your regular cost is also already discounted, and we do have additional financial aid available. If you are in need of additional financial aid, contact us at


About Us

Michael Griffin, Director

Dr. Michael Griffin, Founder
I have taught theology at Holy Cross for 12 years. My areas of focus include moral theology, the history of penance, the ethics of war and peace, and the Catholic social tradition. I also co-edited a book on health care, medicine and social justice, entitled In the Company of the Poor. This is a great time in history to launch the Institute: our world needs young people who are ready to dive into the vocation of being Saints and Scholars. My wife Catherine and I have two young sons, Benedict and Basil, both of whom intend to generate a lot of attention from this summer’s participants!


Dr. Louis Albarran, Professor of Theology and Media Track
I joined the theology department at Holy Cross College five years ago after teaching theology for four years in a Young Catholic Scholars program for a Newman Center. My areas of research and teaching focus on the intersection between faith and popular culture/music/movies, and faith and popular religion (the use of religious statues/medals/art in ordinary settings). I can’t wait to help our summer scholars learn to see how Jesus (the Logos) is hidden in many forms of media – even secular/non-religious media – and to help them learn about the benefits, as well as the unsuspected traps, for using media in evangelization and the new evangelization. When I’m not in the classroom, I can be found in the streets of South Bend playing old time American music with my daughters on guitars, banjos, and violins. I can’t wait for my son to join us!

Maria Surat

Maria Surat, Professor of Theology and Medicine Track
I have been fascinated by the intersections of theology and medicine since I began studying as an undergraduate at Notre Dame. I just earned a Master of Theology from Duke University, where my research focused on Christian engagement with modern biomedicine. I also have a particular interest in the Church’s response to persons, especially soldiers, who experience combat-related trauma, grief, or anguish. My pastoral experience includes time spent in health care and hospice settings, as well as working with the South Bend Catholic Worker community and the Catholic Peace Fellowship. I am eager to accompany our Saints and Scholars in exploring how the Holy Spirit invites each of us to share in Christ’s healing ministry.

André Polaniecki, Professor of Theology and Sport Track
I am the Interim Director of Athletics at Holy Cross College and teach two courses within the Sports Management minor (Contemporary Issues in Sport and Foundations of Sport and Exercise). Before joining Holy Cross, I spent six years teaching and coaching in New Orleans, also earning a Masters of Religious Education from Loyola University. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of the Cumberlands. In college, at the University of Notre Dame, I was a four-year member of the Irish track and field team and the 2000 and 2001 Spring Opener javelin champion. My husband Andrew and I have five children and are very active in South Bend’s Catholic community.

shawn and stephanie storer ssi

Shawn and Stephanie Storer, Professors of Theology and Sustainability Track
We live with our children on a family homestead with a big name: The Blessed Jägerstätter Farm in the City and Saints Benedict & Scholastica Agronomic Homeschool in South Bend. We met and were married while teaching theology, music, science and mathematics at Red Cloud Indian School, a Jesuit high school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where we lived for several years. Shawn is director of the Catholic Peace Fellowship, an organization he has been involved with since 2001, and is the ecumenical and interreligious officer for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Stephanie is a catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program at Saint Matthew’s where she also coordinates a community educational garden for the parish and neighborhood. She holds civil and environmental engineering degrees from Villanova and Notre Dame. Together we direct a Co-operative Grocery Store, called Common Goods, and a program at our parish on living the vision of Laudato Si’. We try to live by the words of Peter Maurin, “The future will be different if we make the present different” and look forward to accompanying those whom God is calling to become Saints & Scholars.

Information for Parents

The Saints & Scholars Institute supports your role as your child’s educator in the faith. We begin our work with the belief that your teenager is uniquely called and gifted to live life fully. At the Saints & Scholars Institute, we empower your children to ask and answer the question “What kind of saint is God calling me to be?” The Saints & Scholars Institute is a holistic experience and our goal is to provide a context where young Christians can think deeply about practical implications of the Christian faith.


Your child will be under the care and guidance of the Saints & Scholars Institute leadership team: Dr. Louis Albarran, Maria Surat, and Andrew Ouellette. The leadership team is the core of both Theology and Campus Ministry at Holy Cross College. Fourteen specially-selected Holy Cross College students will serve as mentors for the attendees, alongside experienced Residence Life staff in the dorms. Holy Cross College is also staffed by full-time Campus Security officers.

If you are bringing your child to campus or picking them up, we invite you to have a tour, a complimentary meal, and the chance to meet us and learn more about Holy Cross College.
For more information about the Saints & Scholars program, or to discuss arrival and departure times, please contact Andrew Ouellette.

Notre Dame Vision Partnership

The Saints & Scholars Summer Theology Institute is pleased to partner with Notre Dame Vision to offer a two-week experience joining both of our programs.

SSI and Vision

We encourage all Saints & Scholars participants to consider attending Notre Dame Vision the week before they attend Saints & Scholars. The fruits of a week at Notre Dame Vision will prepare you and nourish you to dig into the seminars and activities of Saints & Scholars. In fact, we have selected the dates to make it work perfectly for those who attend both programs!

Although Notre Dame Vision ends Friday at noon, and Saints & Scholars doesn’t begin until Sunday, we have designed a special weekend for students attending both programs, including a relaxing trip to Lake Michigan on Saturday.

visit the grotto

For more information about Notre Dame Vision, please visit


Your week at Saints & Scholars will be full of exciting learning, personal growth, and fun. Here is a sample look at a typical day.

After breakfast we will gather for morning prayer and then divide into our tracks for two morning seminars divided by a break with great coffee, juices, and snacks. These seminars will be led by theology faculty, but full of discussion with your peers.


After lunch, the 11 other members of your track, the 2 college mentors, and your professor will head out to the community for experiential learning. The site is chosen based on your track topic, but all of them give you the chance to have an exciting experience in which you learn how you can make a difference in our world.
IMG_4139 IMG_4472 IMG_1014 pretzel

Late Afternoon
Each track returns at 4:00 p.m. The rest of the afternoon is down time. You can take a nap, have a snack, play games on the quad, or simply relax.

After dinner, we will have various social activities (games on the quad, etc) and some time for prayer as well as preparation for the next day.

Special Events
For those students coming from Notre Dame Vision, the Saturday recreation day will be built around a trip to the beach at Lake Michigan. During the week, we also will have one night-time, candle-light procession to the Grotto at Notre Dame. On your last night, we will have a banquet at which you will receive the official, and awesome, Saints & Scholars t-shirt. A bonfire and party will follow the banquet.


The Tracks

The heart of our Saints & Scholars Institute will be the group experience that comes from being placed in the track that most fits your skills and interests. There are 6 options:

SaintsAndScholars-Track-PublicHealth 2017 logo only The Medicine of Mercy: Theology and Public Health
Evidence suggests that while our nation has great resources in the medical field, we are not very healthy as a society. This crisis requires the development of new leaders and the cultivation of fresh ideas about the meaning of health and the aims of medical science. The Christian tradition, rooted in the healing ministry of Jesus, has resources for this task. This track is for students interested in how theology is relevant for medicine, and those considering careers in the field of health care, medicine, and public health.
SaintsAndScholars-Track-Human Rights logo only God’s People on the Move: Theology and Human Rights
We hear in the news a lot of talk about immigrants and refugees “on the move.” But what does the Catholic tradition say? Our society needs young voices who know how to answer questions about the rights and dignity of those on the margins. This track is for students interested in learning about immigrants and refugees from both a policy and theological perspective, and for those interested in law, politics or social work.
SaintsAndScholars-Track-Media logo only A Voice in the Wilderness: Theology and Media
In a complicated and sometimes shallow media world, we need to raise a voice that cries out in that wilderness. Catholic tradition can help us to engage contemporary media in the construction of deep community connections. We will explore the ways God can work through art, journalism, radio and television. This track is for students who are interested in popular culture, communications, or media.
SaintsAndScholars-Track-science 2017 logo only God, Guts, and Glory: Theology and Sport
Description coming soon.
SaintsAndScholars-Track-Sustainability 2017 logo only Living Laudato Si’: Theology & Ecology
In Laudato Si’, a letter written to every person on the planet, Pope Francis stresses that care for God’s creation is an urgent task today and he offers a vision of “integral ecology” to solve the problems of a “throwaway culture.” Thus this track explores topics of food, farming, co-operative economics, and community gardening. This track is for students who are interested in learning about practical ways to address questions of physical and spiritual hunger, the crisis of climate change, justice for the poor, the relationship between work and human dignity, life together and the common good, and care for our common home.
SaintsAndScholars-Track-business 2 logo only Prophets with Profits: Theology and Business
We are used to hearing stories about great Christians working in churches, schools, or hospitals. But what about in business? How can someone enter the world of commerce and do great things that are true to the faith? The answer depends on the businessperson understanding things like the purpose of a company and what the Church teaches about management. This track is for those interested in the profession of business.


Teachers and Youth Ministers

The Saints & Scholars Institute offers adults a way to participate. If you assemble and accompany a group of 5 or more students, we will offer you free room and board for the duration of the program. During the program you will have the opportunity to shadow any aspect of the experience. However, you may also use your time in South Bend as you wish for your own study, retreat, and enjoyment. Additionally, the experience will allow you plenty of time to make use of all the academic, recreational and spiritual resources here in Notre Dame, Indiana.

If you are interested in attending Saints & Scholars, please contact Andrew Ouellette (

SSI Opening Day

High School Students

We invite you to join us on an intellectual and spiritual journey at Holy Cross College. During the Saints & Scholars Summer Theology Institute, you will join 80 other high school students in a week-long experience that will challenge you to discover the kind of saint that you are called to become!

At Holy Cross you will find the perfect space for study, reflection, recreation, and prayer. You will learn through a course of study led by the distinguished theologians of the Holy Cross Theology Department. Through small groups, lively discussions, and direct community engagement, you will have the opportunity to think deeply about how your faith relates to big questions facing our world.

theology and health track