- by Mount Saint Mary College
Micah Modell, assistant professor of Information Technology at Mount Saint Mary College, in Albi, France this summer.

As the Mount Saint Mary College community enjoyed the summer break, a pair of Mount employees prepared to travel to southern France for a two-week pilgrimage that followed in the footsteps of St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican order.

St. Dominic made innumerable contributions to Christianity more than 800 years ago, all while living a simple, joyful life. Centuries later, the Dominican Sisters founded Mount Saint Mary College, using as a guideline the four pillars of Dominican life: study, prayer, service, and community.

Margaret Treacy, a Career Counselor at the college’s Career Center, and Micah Modell, assistant professor of Information Technology, were joined by representatives from the Mount’s sister Dominican schools to learn more about the life of St. Dominic, visiting locations of special significance in his life and the founding of the Order of Preachers.

Visiting the same places where St. Dominic walked and preached was nothing short of extraordinary, explained Treacy.

“It was a powerful experience,” she said. “You know the background when you’re walking around campus and you see the stained glass and hear the stories of St. Dominic, but actually being there brings it to life. The Dominican Order was so small when it started, yet none of this [Mount Saint Mary College] would have been here if it weren’t for St. Dominic.”

Margaret Treacy, a Career Counselor at Mount Saint Mary College’s Career Center, in Carcassonne, France this summer.

Regardless of one’s religion, the Fanjeaux trip was spiritually enriching, the Mount travelers noted: It was just as meaningful for Modell, who is Jewish, as it was for Treacy, who is Christian.

“Being there, and hearing about the Dominican Order, hearing them talk about Dominic’s journey in the locations he was in – that was amazing,” said Modell. “It gives you a fantastic feel for it and it was very, very memorable. Being there with so many people with shared interests gave me a much richer understanding and appreciation of the history.”

The duo found the beauty of Fanjeaux to be one of the most striking experiences of the pilgrimage. But what stood out even more, they agree, was the comradery they shared with their fellow travelers.

“We were strangers, and within a night, we were best friends,” Treacy said.

The Fanjeaux Program brings together faculty, support staff, and students from Dominican institutions of higher learning from across the United States in order to learn about the life and mission of Saint Dominic. Participants explore how the Dominican charism is reflected in their respective schools. The program is sponsored by the Dominican Higher Education Council, which is a group of accredited American colleges, universities, and graduate schools of theology founded or sponsored by provinces or congregations making up the Dominican family and currently facilitated through Molloy University.

The Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute as well as the Dominican Sisters of Hope promote participation in the program on the Mount campus. The college generously provides funds for two employees to participate in this program.


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