Following the Faith: Seniors shift from Miege to Catholic colleges


Mary-Kathryn Wert

After graduating, students will attend a Catholic college to help strengthen their faith.

Natalie Martinez

After high school, senior Elizabeth Benes finds herself returning to what she’s always known — a Catholic school. Benes will be attending Avila University in the fall as a nursing major. 

Benes applied to multiple colleges, some being public, but chose Avila University due to receiving the most scholarships from there and favoring the environment. 

“I actually was originally going to go to a public college, but after looking at Avila it just ended up working out better for me,” Benes said. “It’s also kind of cool to go to a Catholic school for 14 years of my life.” 

Unlike Benes, senior Thomas Wright chose Benedictine College because of his family history. “My family went there and they all had very good experiences and turned out to be very good human beings, so I wanted to follow in their footsteps by going there,” Wright said. 

Wright has also only attended Catholic schools and plans to further his faith journey while on campus. 

“They have a church, and they offer daily Mass,” Wright said. “All the monks and priests are up there on campus, so I can get closer to them. That way, ultimately, my faith can grow.” 

Similar to Wright, senior Aliana Olson looked into Catholic schools because of her family, specifically her mom. 

“She went to Avila and she loved it, so she kind of inspired me to go to Rockhurst,” Olson said. Olson looked into several Catholic schools but decided upon Rockhurst University after receiving an offer to play volleyball there. 

“I just thought Rockhurst would extend my faith, since I’ve been going to Catholic school since I was in preschool,” Olson said. “I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to find God more in my life along with playing volleyball.”

 According to Olson, going to a Catholic high school helped her with choosing where to continue her education. 

“If I didn’t go to a Catholic high school, I feel like my faith would have kind of plummeted,” Olson said. “But since I did go to Miege, it kind of guided me toward choosing a Catholic college as well.” 

Benes said going to a Catholic university will help her continue her faith journey through the campus’s resources.

 “I think the campus ministry definitely helps strengthen my faith especially because there will be a lot of Catholic people there,” Benes said. “I love the vibe of a Catholic school, and I love everything about it.” 

Similar to the hopes of Benes, senior Stella Cahalan plans to continue her faith journey past her high school years and will attend Regis University. Cahalan said she is looking forward to the opportunities she will have at a Jesuit college that she wouldn’t at a public university.

 “It’s funny because you’ll see in the bathroom stalls that there’s a Kairos retreat that weekend and just so many opportunities,” Cahalan said. “It’s in Denver too so it’s just like, ‘Oh my gosh, a spiritual retreat in the mountains’ is so fun.” 

Cahalan has also looked into campus ministry life at Regis. While there are public schools with churches on campus, Cahalan said that Regis stood out to her. 

“There’s noon daily Mass every day in a chapel that overlooks the little mountains,” Cahalan said. “Denver is kind of like on the edge of the mountains so the mountains are huge, but you can still see what’s going on.”

 For senior Kylee Coughlan, after looking into both public and Catholic universities, Coughlan landed on Saint Louis University due to its size.

 “I kind of liked how it was smaller and everyone just seemed really nice,” Coughlan said. “I feel like I’m used to a close community. Before Miege, I went to a middle school where in my class alone there were 300 people.” 

According to Olson, attending a Catholic school will help her be closer to her faith and her classmates, as she plans to be involved in faith-based service. 

“I prayed a lot about it and God is leading me toward Rockhurst, so I’m glad it worked out,” Olson said. “I feel like I could find other people who are really passionate about their faith, and they could guide me to be passionate about my faith as well.”