On Friday, 7 July 2023, the second international Summer School “Practicing Resilience – Preparing for Recovery”, which was held in Šibenik from 30 June, ended with the official closing ceremony. With its program and relevant topic, the school brought together renowned lecturers from six different Catholic universities and 39 students from Ukraine, the United States of America, Hungary, Slovakia, Georgia and Croatia through various lectures, workshops and preparatory activities.

During the working days from Monday, July 3 to Friday, July 7, various lectures, workshops, and capstone project activities were held. Renowned professors from five different institutions across the world delivered lectures, and 37 students from Ukraine, the United States of America, Hungary, Slovakia, Georgia, and Croatia were actively involved in workshops and capstone project that advanced their knowledge and skills.
Lectures were held by Associate Professor Oleh Kindiy from Ukrainian Catholic University, Professor Clemens Sedmak from University of Notre Dame, Postdoctoral Fellow Lana Batinić from Catholic University of Croatia, Assistant Professor Francesca Giordano from Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Professor Jasna Ćurković Nimac from Catholic University of Croatia, and Associate Professor Marian Kuna from Catholic University in Ružomberok.

The summer school’s students learnt to differentiate between a variety of theories and perspectives on psychological trauma that discuss the connections between identity, trauma, memory, recovery, and post-traumatic growth. Additionally, students learned to analyze critically the ideas of empathy, altruism, forgiveness, moral dilemmas, moral maturity, and competence. Students also learned to assess the advantages and consequences of applying the resilience framework in improving mental health and offering psychological assistance. Furthermore, they learned what the key terms in the field of resilience are (such as risk and protective factors, individual, social, and institutional resilience, intangible infrastructure, spiritual resilience, etc.), as well as the significance of Christian principles for forgiveness and reconciliation.

For the capstone project, students were split up into four groups, and they each contributed original work applying new knowledge, skills they had gained through the summer school’s lectures, workshops, and recommended readings. The “Drawing a Prayer” capstone project was produced by the group led by Associate Professor Oleh Kindiy, the “Memory Book” was produced by the group led by Professor Jasna Ćurković Nimac. A group led by Postdoctoral Fellow Lana Batinić produced a video about the summer school and a group led Associate Professor Marian Kuna wrote a thorough blog about her summer school experiences.
The summer school included daily holy services in addition to its strong educational background. His Excellency Milan Stipić, Bishop of Greek Catholic Eparchy of Križevci, Father Oleh Kindiy from the Ukrainian Catholic University, and Rev. Branimir Jagodić, University Chaplain of the Catholic University of Croatia, celebrated the divine liturgy and holy mass. They also prepared daily prayers and offered spiritual support to all participants.

The program’s participants also learned about the splendors of Šibenik’s cultural history in addition to its rigorous educational component. Therefore, they visited the St. Nicholas Fortress, the Cathedral of St. James, the Interpretation Center of the Cathedral of St. James, “Civitas Sacra,” and also traveled to the island of Prvić to explore other cultural monuments.

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