When I first saw the basilica steeple from the window of the metro, arriving on campus my freshman year, I had no idea what life awaited me there, but I had faith Catholic University was part of God’s design for my life. I had left Wisconsin and my family behind to pursue my love of reading and writing, uncertain of the nature of the English program I would dedicate the next four years of my studies too. Many lectures, readings, essays, a semester abroad at Oxford, two senior thesis papers, and one comprehensive examine later, I can say my experience as an English major at Catholic University filled and surpassed my expectations for my studies.

During my years at Catholic University, Donne, Shakespeare, Shelley, Dickinson, Austen, the Brontës, Thoreau, Eliot, Joyce, Waugh, Greene, and Wilbur were my tutors. As their pupil, I gained a “historical sense,” “lived deep,” and learned to “suck out all the marrow of life.” Through these authors and many others, my English professors taught me more than just how to write well and analyze literature, but the methods for becoming a playwright, a poet, and a writer. However, not just any kind of author, but a Catholic writer, poet, and playwright concerned with discerning beauty, goodness, and truth.

Catholic University’s English program strives to nurture creative and authentic Catholic writers and readers focused on tradition, order, unity, and connections between the material and immaterial, profane and spiritual, and humanity and divinity. In my courses at Catholic University, studying literature was not merely presented as a major, but as a vocation whose modes of creation allowed students to come to know the Father, discern his mysteries, and share his beauty with others. I do not know the rest of God’s design for my life, but I am eternally grateful and deeply indebted for the graces I received as an English major during my time at Catholic University.

Makenzie Winter
B.A. English '19