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Teaching as discerned vocation in urban Catholic schools has the potential to provide a far-reaching, integrative space for enacting the Universal Apostolic Preferences. This research explores the reflections of 31 novice teachers, enrolled in the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps (UCTC), a Jesuit university program in the northeast. This program supports the development and formation of novice teachers through graduate education, living in community, full-teaching responsibilities in an urban Catholic school, mentoring, coaching, and professional development. Teachers completed an online interview that elicited responses about what it means to lead a life of meaning and purpose and the factors that contribute to leading a life of meaning and purpose. Responses illustrated intentionality and planning with the aim of leading a life that was beyond-the self. Finally, the Universal Apostolic Preferences of “Walking with the Excluded” and “Journey with Youth to Create a Hope-filled Future” resonated in all responses. Findings suggest that teaching as discerned vocation in urban Catholic schools offers a far-reaching space for not only enacting integrative Universal Apostolic Preferences as teachers commit to taking up this work as vocation, but also serving as a model for evangelizing students, families, and communities to take up this work.



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