Leap of Faith
Class of 2018 Theological Studies graduate Facundo Gonzalez Icardi is heading to Notre Dame University to pursue a Masters degree in the same field. Hailing from Maldonado, Uruguay, Facundo will pair his studies with a teaching role at an Indianapolis high school, sharing his passion for faith and justice with students.
“LMU was an incredibly formative experience,” Facundo said. “It taught me how to have a compassionate mind and intelligent heart, and I have definitely been given the tools and knowledge to take my next steps.”
Drawn to the bluff for its Jesuit identity and mission, Facundo began his LMU journey as a computer science major, but after becoming involved with the Center for Service and Action (CSA), quickly realized he wanted to focus on helping to raise the voices of the oppressed.
“I think I have a better sense of who I am now and that I have grown immensely,” Facundo said. “I was challenged by my professors and peers to think differently and I’m leaving with a greater sense of my place in the world.”
Among his favorite CSA experiences was an Alternative Break trip to Rabat, Morocco exploring the rights of Sub-Saharan and Syrian refugees and women’s empowerment. Upon returning to the bluff, Facundo and his group engaged in an advocacy event by creating an interactive art exhibit and student art gallery.
“Everyone that came to the exhibit got to go on the journey of a real refugee and learn more about what they can do and how they can advocate,” Facundo said.
LMU students currently take part in more than 200,000 service hours per year, including the Alternative Breaks program which aims to promote service and cultural exchange through hands-on community-based learning on the local, national and international levels.
Facundo added that one need not venture halfway around the world to feel more empowered to change the world, as he felt so everyday right in the LMU classroom. In particular, while taking the course “Serving Faith and Promoting Justice,” taught by Dr. Matthew Petrusek.
“Our work during class was to come up with our own theory of justice after studying many different theories,” Facundo said. “Mine was heavily inspired by the LMU mission statement and the connection of faith and justice.”
Outside of academics, Facundo was involved in a number of campus pursuits, including the Christian Life Community (CLC), Campus Ministry and the Magis service organization. He was also an Orientation Leader for International Student Orientation and studied abroad in Rome, focusing on Christianity as seen through art and architecture.
As for what advice Facundo has for future Lions?
“It’s okay to ask for help – it’s not a sign of weakness,” Facundo said. “All of my incredible experiences at LMU happened because I reached out.”