Loyola University Chicago

Catholic Studies


All students working toward a Catholic studies minor must attend three capstone seminars with the program director or a designated Catholic studies faculty member during the final semester of their senior year. Two capstone seminars involve making presentations to fellow seniors. The purpose of these two presentations is to create an informal context for students to explore and discuss the relationship between the Catholic intellectual and artistic traditions and their major field of study using various media, such as film, literature, theology, philosophy, poetry, autobiography, music, and development in the sciences. At the third capstone seminar, students will present their work to faculty members and a larger group of students participating in the Catholic studies minor.

Capstone Projects

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

2021 Catholic Studies Banquet Program

Lissette Amón
Hometown: Biblián, Cañar, Ecuador & Chicago, IL
Major(s): Psychology, Theology
Minor(s): Catholic Studies
Hobbies: Reading, crocheting, cooking & baking, dancing, crafts, etc.
Favorite Saint: Sta. Narcisa de Jesús
Capstone Project Title: "Lo Cotidiano y Dios / Daily Life and God"
Laura Bottei
Hometown: Green Bay, WI
Major: Music, Psychology
Minor(s): Catholic Studies
Hobbies: music (obviously), cooking, being vegan, yoga, gymnastics, dogs
Favorite Saint: John (the Evangelist) and Joan of Arc
Capstone Project Title: Music, Work, and Faith in Myself & Other Young Adult Professional Church Musicians
Maxwell Dziabis
Hometown: Addison, IL
Major: Theology, English
Minor(s): Theatre, Catholic Studies
Hobbies: Reading, gaming, taking walks, writing new versions of Turnabout Musical
Favorite Saint: Probably St. Oscar Romero
Capstone Project Title: Interested, or, How I’m Learning To Be Okay With Not Knowing
Megan Mullenbach
Hometown: Urbandale, IA
Majors: Environmental Policy and Political Science
Minors: Catholic Studies and History
Hobbies: reading, baking, and crocheting
Favorite saint: St. Francis of Assisi
Capstone title: The Teachings of St. Francis of Assisi and Eco-Spirituality Can Help Us Tackle the Ecological Crisis
Thomas Olson
Hometown: Vernon Hills
Major: Biology and Latin
Minor(s): Catholic Studies and Classic Civilization
Hobbies: Playing guitar, reading, and traveling
Favorite Saint: St. Augustine
Capstone Project Title" Niggling Imperfection
Frances Rafferty
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Major: Environmental Policy
Minor: Catholic Studies
Hobbies: Creating music, rock-climbing, reading, growing mushrooms, and tending to plant babies
Favorite: St. Francis of Assisi and St. Joan of Arc
Capstone Project Title: Hope in the Death-Haunted Desert of a World in Crisis
Mitchell Stephens
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Major: History
Minor(s): Catholic Studies, Criminal Justice
Hobbies: Reading, spending time with friends, hiking
Favorite Saint: St. Joseph
Capstone Project Title: The Grace of a Cannonball: A Reflection on Sainthood and Suffering
Amanda Timlin
Hometown: Barrington, IL
Major: Secondary Education, History
Minor: Catholic Studies
Hobbies: Exercise and cooking
Favorite Saint: Joan of Arc
Capstone Project Title: What is Your Calling? A Service-Learning Lesson for High School Students
Danny Warwick
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Majors: Theology & Music (Vocal Performance)
Minor: Catholic Studies
Hobbies: Boxing, Photography, Archery, Reading, and Crochet
Favorite Saint: Damien of Molokai
Capstone: Theology of the Imago Dei, and Other Essays for the Modern Church

2020 Capstone Banquet Program

Kileen Albright
Hometown: Gurnee, IL
Major: Nursing
Minor: Catholic Studies
Hobbies: reading, hiking, and taking care of my many houseplants!
Favorite Saint: St. Therese of Lisieux is my homegirl, but Pope St. JPII, St. Joseph, and St. Francis of Assisi are close seconds!
Sylvester Alonz
Hometown: Republic of Palau
Major: Religious Studies
Minor: Catholic Studies, Chinese Language and Culture
Hobbies: Playing ukelele, traveling, reading, and snorkeling
Interests: Religion, Culture (East and South Asian, Latin, Francophonic, Middle Eastern)
Favorite Saints/ "Saintly People": Francis Xavier, Oscar Romero, Sr. Helen Prejean
Salena Ibrahim
Hometown: Oak Lawn, IL, a south suburb of Chicago.
Major: Secondary Education and English
Minor: Catholic Studies and Special Education
Interests: Reading/writing, trying new recipes, and putting her sarcasm to good use! She also loves spending time outside, no matter the season. So, naturally,
Favorite Saint: St. Francis of Assisi!
Capstone Project: Everything Is Connected
Kennedy Murphy
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI, but has lived all over the state. She spent her middle school years in Houghton Lake, her high school years and most of college in Carson City, and is now back in Grand Rapids with her family.
Major: Advertising and Public Relations
Minor: Catholic Studies and Sports Management
Career Goals: She is excited to pursue a career in collegiate athletics.
Interests: Reading, watching movies with her siblings, and playing quidditch. One thing she is looking forward to most after the stay-at-home order is enjoying a movie in a theater with a large bucket of popcorn (with extra butter).
Favorite Saints: St. Sebastian and St. Bernadette
Capstone Project: Quarantine Cookbook
Veronica Rusk
Hometown: I grew up in South Florida and moved to Chicago a few years ago.
Major: Film and Women's and Gender Studies
Minor: Catholic Studies
Interests: Reading, writing, and watching Disney movies; spending time with friends and family.
Favorite Saint: St. Martha, who is my confirmation saint. I've always admired her story and been inspired by her faith.
Justyna Skowronski
Hometown: Orland Park, IL (Southwest suburbs of Chicago)
Major: English
Minor: Catholic Studies and Journalism
Hobbies: Running and biking down the lakefront, reading anything and everything, rock climbing, playing violin, spending time with her 10 siblings, and trying out new cafes and restaurants in the city.
Favorite Saints: St. Gemma Galgani, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, St. Kateri Tekakwitha
Capstone Project: A Modern Day Book of Saints

2016 Senior Capstones

Guy Valponi
Teaching Religion in Contemporary Cultural Texts

Paul de Bord
Conversion Diaries: From Augustine to
Jennifer Fulwiler

Theodore McManigal
Cafeteria Catholicism and A Scriptural Reflection on The Church as Christ on Earth

Matthew Anderson
Every Choice is Binary:
A Mathematical View of Free Will

Joseph Carroll
Just Outside the Picture Frame:
the Role of Grace in Understanding Nature

Claire Soupene
About Her Departure: Wild Geese Calling

Ronald Amiscaray
Becoming WE AM

Emily Bajzek
A Past and Present Understanding of Self

Katie Melody
Sowing the Seed: Jesus of the Interwebs

Elizabeth Sextro
You are that water: now flow!

Maura Rocks
Prophets Among Us

Ann Burns
Compassion, Consolation, and Community:
The Catalysts of Transformative Education

Tyler Murphy
Our Transformation, Our Duty, Our Leverage within Society