Shannon Maricielo’s interest in interfaith chaplaincy work drew her into her studies at the School of Theology and Ministry (STM) where she is completing her MA in Couples and Family Training (MACFT) program, and will graduate in June of 2021 with a MACFT and a Post-Master’s Certificate of Transforming Spirituality.
Shannon has been a student worker at STM for about a year and a half. She was drawn to The Center for Religious Wisdom& World Affairs because of its unique opportunity to leverage the life-changing power of integrating academia, faith, and real-world, lived experience. The Center’s work on homelessness is particularly meaningful and poignant for Shannon. She has a close family member whose 20+ year struggle with mental health and substance use disorders which resulted in that family member being unsheltered numerous times. She has worked on a project bringing in scholars who participated in podcasts and in-person interviews where they talked about shelterlessness from their particular faith and/or academic perspective. Additionally, three community members who have experienced shelterlessness were interviewed. The creation of these podcasts and interviews is to create educational resources that professors around the world will use in their classrooms. Students, members of various faith communities, and others can access the podcasts and videos as a learning resource regardless of their affiliation with a university. Shelterlessness isn’t that distant of a possibility for many people in the United States and Shannon hopes that this will remind us that the experience of shelterlessness is a painful reality that we may be afraid to talk about or give much thought to, in part because of fear of experiencing it ourselves.