Magdalen College offers an incomparable journey into the Catholic intellectual tradition and four years of immersion in the liturgical and spiritual riches of the Church, recognizing that both flow from a single source. The fruits of these experiences do not remain isolated within the classroom and the chapel but instead flow into the lived experience of the larger community, shaping the patterns, rhythms, and ethos of our daily lives. The college invites her students to embrace and contribute to this culture that supports us in our journey toward wisdom and ever deeper communion.
Here are a few of the ways to experience Catholic culture at Magdalen College:
Each single-sex residence contains a small chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved during the academic year. Students frequently visit these chapels throughout the day and evening.
Through the Confraternity of Saint Joseph and the Sodality of Mary, students gather each semester at the President’s residence for home-cooked meals, Lectio Divina or other spiritual reading, and practical discussion about living our faith in the world.
Most of our students attend the March for Life in Washington D.C. each year.
We begin and conclude each class and faculty meeting with prayer.
Mass is scheduled so that it does not conflict with classes.
Following the wisdom of Josef Pieper, we feast like Catholics, celebrating feasts and memorials throughout the year with dinners and desserts. (The high points are the Easter Vigil in the spring and the Feast of Saint Nicholas–following our “Lessons and Carols”–in the fall.)
We begin the planning for our post-graduate lives by learning to think of our careers in terms of vocation, asking “What is God calling me to do with my life?”
Our offices are closed on major feasts and solemnities.
Students from the college recently volunteered to assist a young mother who was having a difficult pregnancy. They traveled to her home to help care for the children and assist with other domestic duties.
Magdalen College Students on the Spiritual Life on Campus
Sean Haefner ’19
“I came to Magdalen College because I wanted to both learn and live my faith more fully, and I have not been disappointed. At Magdalen College, my intellectual formation has been infused with the vigorous truth of Catholicism: the light of faith has been a guiding principle not only in my theology courses, but also through a range of subjects including philosophy, music, and physics.
Liturgy beats the rhythm of life on campus, and the graces of mass and adoration have been essential to my growth as a person. The reverence and beauty of liturgy is matched by the joy of a collegiate community centered on Christ, and I am grateful to have formed friends with whom I share a common foundation and goal. Education is about more than the classroom: I have been able to grow in truth throughout my college years because a genuine love of God is the guiding principle of life, in and out of the classroom, at Magdalen College.”
Chance Hebert ’20
“My Catholic education at Magdalen College has been, and continues to be, a priceless experience that I will cherish forever. I grew up going to public schools, where there is a legally enforced separation of faith from all subject matter. After one week of being at college, I realized that the past 12 years of my education had been lackluster and empty. Christ is the source of all truth and without Him a course of study is weak and meaningless. My education at Magdalen College has opened my mind to a whole new world, in which everything has meaning and everything has consequences.
But most importantly, it has shown me, in more ways than I could have imagined, that Christ is the font of all Truth, and that everything we do and study should pursue heavenly wisdom, aimed towards a deeper union with Him. The reverent adherence to the order of the Mass and the vibrant participation of the community in response and song has helped me to better understand the grandness of the liturgy and the importance and holiness of the priesthood.”
Rebecca Stolarski ’19
“Magdalen College is a place where truth is constantly sought. The spiritual resources available to students—daily Mass, Rosary, Adoration, Confession—should not be underestimated: there are few things more spiritually restorative than an evening before the Blessed Sacrament, and nothing more strengthening to faith than convenient access to daily Mass.
The ideal that is tangibly being pursued is an environment of faithful peer-to-peer encouragement in virtue: I feel that I can encourage my friends to join me at Mass without sounding “preachy,” and they can do the same to me. We build each other up. The theology courses at the school are constantly engaging you and challenging you to take ownership of your faith and grow in spiritual maturity.
The Catholic atmosphere of Magdalen College is easy to take for granted, but when it is put into perspective, it is so uniquely precious in its inclination to virtue and its determination to form strong, faithful individuals.”
Aaron Beecher ’21
“I believe that Magdalen College does an incredible job of forming students in a Christo-centric, truth-oriented life. Not only is the education itself geared towards learning the truth and discovering how God wants us to live through education, but campus life here also revolves around communion with God.
Mass, conducted reverently and beautifully, is the focal point around which every school day revolves, and no classes and activities are scheduled at Mass times so that students can attend. One sees students leading the daily rosary and Divine Office, or breaking from their afternoon activities to say the evening Angelus together.”
Rose Phelps ’21
“At Magdalen College I am surrounded by peers who try to encourage and help each other grow in our faith by listening to each other and praying for one another. We have many opportunities to pray community prayers together such as the rosary, the chaplet of divine mercy, and sung Compline. We also offer many different prayer and spiritual reading groups that have helped me answer important theological questions.
Most importantly, the way the liturgy is celebrated at Magdalen College has truly helped me deepen my relationship with God. The reverence of the priests and altar servers along with the beautiful chant and polyphonic music make it so easy to lift one’s heart to God.”