Summer Reading Assignment for Faith & Sacraments
Students are to read the book Alive by Piers Read. It is an account of the young men who survived a plane crash in the Andes Mountains in 1972. They were traveling from Uruguay to Chile over the Andes for a rugby match on October 12, 1972. Their story is a story of community and faith. All of the themes developed in the Faith and Sacraments course are part of their survival: the presence of God in their lives, our lives as a journey to God, community, relationships, Paschal Mystery, transcendence, symbols, ritual prayer, sacramental awareness, conversion. Students will be asked to refer to the book as they move through the course
Theme 1: Awareness of the Presence of God
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the story of their survival is their awareness of God’s presence with them. As you read, take time to make note of—in the book itself or in a notebook—the moments when they describe their awareness of God, their conversation with God or their prayer, and their moral struggles or questions about God/faith. After finishing the book (many of their most significant comments about God’s presence come near the end of the book), choose one of the passages that you find most intriguing or thought-provoking. Type that quote on your paper and then write a paragraph (minimum 250 words) exploring how that comment connects to your own life experience.
Theme 2: Importance of Community
Community played an important and necessary role in their ability to survive the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges brought on by the crash and their subsequent weeks in the Andes. As you read or after you conclude the book, type up a list of five moments (use complete sentences and put the page number) where you see community as a significant factor in the survival of an individual or the full group. Explain why you chose each one.
Follow MLA format for this assignment. Bring this paper with you to turn in on the first day of class in August.
A test of your reading of Alive usually occurs within the first few days of the course.