This is Gabriella's Journey.
Students who have graduated from Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST) come from a variety of backgrounds - from teaching, to sales, to youth ministry, to on-air talent.
Yes, you read that last part correctly.
Gabriella Furmato works as a radio deejay and development coordinator at Domestic Church Media Catholic Radio, 89.3 FM/1260 AM. She is also a student at ICSST, pursuing her master's degree in systematic theology. "I chose to study at Seton Hall because it had a sound theology program, faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church," Gabriella says.
Gabriella admits that when she began the program, she was a little intimidated at first. "I felt like the youngest one there and did not feel very confident in my own knowledge of the faith," she confesses. But it wasn't long before she started to feel more comfortable - due in large part to her professors and their knowledge, example and love of the faith. "Not only am I learning about the faith, but I am also learning how to live a life of good faith," Gabriella says. She also shares how she has been able to apply her teachings at ICSST to life outside the classroom. "The Sacraments of Initiation course with Father John Chadwick helped me tremendously when I began volunteering to direct teen RCIA at my home parish. And learning about the Second Vatican Council, and reading the documents, prepared me to help proclaim the 'Year of Faith' to listeners of Domestic Church Media Catholic Radio," she recalls. She also teaches Confirmation class and has shared what she has learned with her students, and is even a Zumba instructor in her spare time and has incorporated feast days through the music she plays and dances to in class.
As positively as her professors have impacted her life, so too have the many friends she has made through the program. "It has been a blessing for me to be in class with lay students, seminarians and those from different cultures. I have made friends with lay people of different ages and many seminarians as well!" says Gabriella. One such individual happened to be a priest from her own diocese, assigned to a church close to her home, who, Gabriella says, was both a spiritual support and friend to her and remains so to this day. Many of her other friends from the program have even appeared as guests on her radio show, "Everything is Grace," to share stories of God's grace, "which has been such a blessing for me and for our listeners," she says.
Overall, Gabriella considers it "an obligation, privilege and blessing to study the faith at such a wonderful institution, especially during the New Evangelization. As I trust in God more and His plan for my life, I realize I am exactly where He wants me to be and that I have a lot to offer to the classes I take as well. As I continue to study at Seton Hall, I am becoming more confident due to the welcoming and loving atmosphere at ICSST."
To learn how you can become a student at ICSST, like Gabriella, call (973) 761-9633 or simply fill out the form on the right.