Ardens Virtus is one of the four male Faith Households at Ave Maria University. It’s a group of young men committed to praying and sacrificing daily in order to bring the love of Christ to those around them. “The hour has come,” their mission statement proclaims, “and we have decided to go forward into the world as warriors, not to be chided into cowardice, but enlivened and inspired by the spirit to engage sin at its source, pray for those who struggle daily, and bring the love of Christ into day to day life.”
The opportunity to get involved with a Faith Household is one of the major components of the strong campus culture and spiritual life at Ave Maria University. Households are groups of male or female students who mutually support one another by spending time together in prayer and recreation. These Christ-centered groups strive for balanced, healthy, interpersonal relationships, all while challenging their members to develop spiritually, emotionally, academically, and physically.
In the interview below, William Petry gives a glimpse into the brotherhood and spirituality of one of Ave’s male households, Ardens Virtus.
Q: How did you decide to get involved in a household, and why did you choose Ardens Virtus?
A: I decided to get involved with Ardens Virtus last year when another student came to me at the beginning of the year and told me about the concept of households here at Ave, which was totally new to me. He then introduced me to the group of guys that were in Ardens at that time. It seemed to me that households were a conjoined effort of like-minded people who seek a sense of community as well as direction in achieving personal and collective goals for their lives, which was something that I wanted to be a part of.
Q: What are some of the things that you guys do to build community? What kind of commitments do you have to the household?
A: Ardens does many things to build community among each other and on campus, from social moments to communal prayer times. Personally, I think that Ardens’ ITT (intentional talk time) is one of the most valuable community building techniques. Each week, we have a one-to-one conversation with one of the members of the household. It can be as casual or formal as you please, as long as it is an earnest heart-to-heart conversation. These weekly conversations have been incredibly helpful for me, and I’ve been able to get to know the other members of Ardens as well. The household has various commitments, as others do, from weekly Mass, to night prayer a couple times a week, and a weekly meeting. There are plenty of other opportunities as well to nourish prayer life and establish community.
Q: What is unique about being in a household at Ave?
A: It seems to me that households at Ave are a great opportunity for students to exercise a deeper level of introspection, discern their spiritual, social and emotional needs and find a particular means of fulfilling them based on their personal history and spirituality.
Q: Is your household in charge of putting on any events during the school year?
A: Ardens organizes a couple events on campus, such as competitive inter-household dodgeball games, apologetic debates, etc. There are many creative ideas that spark from our leadership team to engage with campus life.
Q: If I’m a male student interested in getting involved with Ardens, how would I join?
A: If you are interested in joining the household, I encourage you to join one of our events, such as night prayer, and get to know its members and mission to see if it is a right fit for you!
Interested in learning more about Household Life at Ave Maria University? Check out the missions and charisms of the different female and male households here!