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The Happy Saint: The Call to Holiness is a Call to Happiness

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By Sari Wilson

Research has shown the benefits of religion and spirituality to an individual’s well-being. And yet, over the last several decades, the Catholic Church has seen a decline in affiliated members, especially amongst adolescents. Furthermore, this same population of adolescents has experienced exponential increases in anxiety, depression, and suicide rates, which begs the question: how must the Church respond? This paper examines this decline in religious affiliation and decrease in adolescent well-being, looking specifically towards character strengths and virtue for remedies. Finally, using the new science of positive psychology, this paper will propose that holiness is found through living the virtuous life, which ultimately leads to a life of fulfillment.

See Sari’s full capstone on Penn’s Scholarly Commons website.

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