It was my experience in religious life that inspired me to study clinical psychology – I saw a lot of people struggling with difficult issues and looking for help from a spiritual director when what they needed was a therapist.
Master’s student Sean Tobin seeks to immerse himself in the formation provided by IPS to become a holy and effective Catholic therapist.
“Let’s start with the fact that God writes straight with crooked lines.
When I was younger, I struggled with atheism and depression. I asked difficult questions and had a hard time finding purpose in my life. Shortly after a trip to Franciscan University’s Austrian campus and to Lourdes, France, I had a powerful but difficult conversion (there must have been something in the water!).
Upon my return, I transferred to Franciscan University as a junior to study philosophy and join their Priestly Discernment Program. At the end of that year, I felt compelled to join a particular religious community where I remained for two years discerning a vocation.
As time progressed, I sensed God leading me in another direction, so I returned to Franciscan to finish my degree. It was my experience in religious life that inspired me to study clinical psychology – I saw a lot of people struggling with difficult issues and looking for help from a spiritual director when what they needed was a therapist.
How did I find IPS?
My senior year at Franciscan was pretty stressful since I needed to figure out what I was going to do after graduation. Just about the time I began hearing people talk about IPS around campus, my father went on a retreat where he met IPS President Fr. Sikorsky.
I applied to IPS, interviewed, and fell in love with the Institute. Shortly thereafter, I prayed a Novena to St. Joseph and on his Feast day, nine days later, received my acceptance letter!
Coming from Franciscan, I wanted to continue being a part of a thriving Catholic environment. From my first visit to IPS, I found exactly what was looking for and I’ve been extremely impressed ever since.
Everyone I speak with is a prayerful, faith-filled Catholic, searching to know and love God in an intimate way. From weekly holy hour and daily Mass, to happy hour after a long day of challenging classes, there’s always a spirit of holiness that radiates in the community.
The faculty begin class with prayer and each show in their lives and in their teaching, their deep relationship with the Lord. With its Catholic tradition, there’s a real clarity and richness to the teachings at IPS. I find so often while sitting in class that learning is more like prayer: listening to the voice of truth and being touched, formed, and inspired to love and serve God more deeply.
As a first-year Master’s student, my future plans are still in the air – I find my eyes are being opened and my interests are evolving every day. Right now, I just want to immerse myself in the formation provided by this environment and someday, by the grace of God, I know I’ll become a holy and effective Catholic therapist. I want to reach out to His broken ones, to the troubled and mentally ill, because I know that, “Whatever you do unto the least of these, you did unto me” (Mt 25:45).”