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On Catholic Identity

  • Jesus Mural

    Inspired by the dying and rising of Christ, we at Gannon are a faith-filled community, living in joyful hope and realizing God’s unconditional love for all people. In this spirit of faith, hope and love, the Gannon community commits itself to:

    • recognizing our Catholic identity as a priority for all decision-making.
    • helping students and colleagues consciously pursue the question, “How shall I live my life?”
    • nurturing a desire for worship of God and an active spiritual life, including the celebration of the Sacraments, other liturgical celebrations, and other authentic forms of devotion.
    • continuing the dialogue within our community and with the local Church to refine the answers to the question, “What does it mean to be a Catholic university?”, and how to live this out.

    Ultimately, the mission of the Catholic Church is to preach the Gospel to all nations, to make Christ’s saving love present to people of all times, and to welcome all people into God’s Kingdom. In our work as a Catholic university and in our living out these five defining traits, the Gannon community makes a worthy and vibrant contribution to this mission. 

    “The University’s curriculum and its faculty guide students to reason toward what is morally right and just, toward understanding that there is a God, that it matters how we relate to Him, how we relate to each other, and how we live. Here all practice the private and public dimensions of their spirituality by living out values, beliefs, and relationships with respect to one another and to their God.” 

    –Gannon Administrator  

    A Lived Reality

    Gannon University celebrates the Christian inspiration found in so many members of this community while recognizing that not everyone at Gannon is Catholic. The diversity of faith within the Gannon community provides the opportunity to practice respect for the religious freedom and the learned wisdom of all people. This practice is necessary for the University to meet its responsibility to its students and constituencies, and to maintain and strengthen its Catholic identity. With diversity, Catholic identity truly comes alive at Gannon. At the same time, in all of its diversity, Gannon University is an institution within the heart of the Catholic Church, and all of its activities are carried out in accord with Catholic principles and teachings.

    In the particular, Roman Catholicism believes that

    • God is a Trinity of Persons.
    • God is fully incarnated in Jesus Christ,
    • whose death and resurrection has brought salvation to all humankind,
    • and whose presence continues to be incarnated in the world through the Church.
    • The Church relies on Sacred Scripture and Tradition to unite God’s revelation with the search for human meaning.

    Each tenet of this particular belief system offers a defining element to the identity of Gannon University in which all constituents of the University participate. While these elements are seen in other universities and are found in other religious traditions, their grounding in the particular beliefs of Catholicism makes them unique to a Catholic university. Regardless of one’s religious denomination or affiliation, all the constituencies of Gannon University have an essential role to play in expressing the defining elements of respect, sacramentality, service, community, and the dialogue between faith and reason. 

    “I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people at Gannon who have a deep faith in  God. I have grown in faith with the help of people I meet here everyday.” 

    –Gannon Student