A More Complete Cultural Experience

Vito Trofa, Italy

 

26 years old, enrolled in the first year of the IUS, Vito was born in Ischia, natural jewel of the ‘Bel Paese.’  During the past few months, he did not fail to show his beautiful island to the other students of the IUS.

He tells us now, how he arrived at Sophia. After his specialty degree in Management Engineering at the University of Naples, at the point of choosing a topic for his thesis, he found himself facing an important choice.

 

“Some friends had given me a book by Chiara Lubich on the Economy of Communion (EoC), the reading of which exposed me to an original thought on the economy and on business in particular.  As I read, a new joy permeated my being.

At that point I found myself at a crossroad: on one side were convenient working possibilities which urged me to write my thesis on very technical topics; on the other there was a passion for an innovative economic project and the desire of giving deeper meaning to my studies.  A very tortuous period followed, but I made a decision: it was worthwhile facing the challenge.

 

For example, the choice of a mentor for my thesis: to deepen my knowledge of the EoC, I decided to contact a very knowledgeable professor who was, however, the most demanding in the program.  On proposing the topic to him, he asked: “Why did you choose me, an agnostic, to study an experience coming from the Catholic world?”  But, convinced that I had chosen well, I insisted.  At the end, he accepted my proposal and we worked diligently.  At the presentation of the thesis, commenting on the results achieved, the professor said to his colleagues:  “…in the beginning, facing this topic, I hesitated; but by the end I was fascinated.” 
During those months I felt the need to better know the whole cultural base which sustains the EoC project.  It was clear, in fact, that without a real and true school of thought the world couldn’t be changed:  no significant change in economic or political processes can be sustained….and for this reason, I enrolled in the IUS.

 

Here at Sophia I take courses toward a Master’s degree in a Culture of Unity.  As an engineer, I found a cultural milieu in which I am able to enrich myself professionally, because in my field of work there’s an ever greater need for professionals who can make decisions using a multi-dimensional   approach to reality, to people, to their problems, able to apply their competencies for the common good.

 

At Sophia there are high profile courses available which call into question our pre-conceptions and open up a person to the beauty of humanity’s cultural patrimony.  Living within this academic community comprised of individuals who have completed studies elsewhere and who represent various cultures and religions, we are learning to work together through a profound experience, rich in different forms of friendship, of mutual esteem, to overcome difficulties together.  The discussions we have in the classroom and the situations we face in daily life provide us with opportunities for intellectual and human growth.  Many times, I have been so affected by what we lived in a lesson that I was prompted to pick up my cell phone or write an e-mail to my friends to share with them what I had just heard and tell them about the new perspectives I was discovering.

 

The pathway to accomplishing ‘something beautiful’ with my life is being paved by the IUS.”

 

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