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Religious Devotion, Graphic Design Lead UT Junior on Pilgrimage

Her dream is to meld her faith with her passion for movie making.

Published: May 25, 2011
Danielle Duet ’13 was a presenter at the 2011 National Medjugorje Conference at the University of Notre Dame this May.
Danielle Duet ’13 was a presenter at the 2011 National Medjugorje Conference at the University of Notre Dame this May.
When Danielle Duet ’13 posted a religious slideshow to YouTube, she never thought it’d take her on a pilgrimage to Bosnia, or bring her in front an audience of a 1,000 as a presenter at the 2011 National Medjugorje Conference at the University of Notre Dame this May.

Duet, an electronic media art and technology major (changed recently by the department to new media production) is proficient with graphic design and animation. Her dream would be to meld her Catholic faith with her passion for movie making. Last year and shortly after posting her slideshow, which was an assignment in her last year of high school, the composer of the song she used for the soundtrack contacted her. Her first thought was that he’d be concerned she didn’t get permission, however he quickly reassured her that wasn’t the case.

He loved her creativity and asked if he could put her in touch with his father, who runs MaryTV, an organization devoted to spreading the message of Mary, the mother of Jesus, through technology. Duet designed a logo for the organization, which is on its website, among other places. To thank her for her work, the founders invited Duet to join them for an international youth festival in Medjugorje, Bosnia Herzegovina, a pilgrimage site for Catholics.

Friends and family at their north Tampa church, as well as an understanding employer, combined to fund and make possible the entire family’s trip to Medjugorje so they could experience the journey together.

“It was God’s hand putting it all together,” Duet said.

The youth festival drew an international crowd of 50,000 young people. One of Duet’s favorite moments was when students participated in a parade of countries while singing worship songs.

“There are so many hardships and war where some of them come from, but here they were all together in peace,” Duet said. “It was what the world could be, what it should be.”

The experience involved climbing spiritual mountains and talking with others devoted in their prayer life. Since returning last summer, Duet has shared the story with her close friends.

“The trip impacted me in the way I live my life now and has impacted my friends,” said Duet, who said some of her friends have taken a closer look at their own faith walk because of her experience. “I share my story with them, and they find it inspiring.”

While she counts her experience as transformative, she said people don’t have to be in Medjugorje to strengthen their faith.

“As long as you can find love, joy and peace in a belief in God, that’s the message,” Duet said. “You don’t have to be there. You can have it in your heart and have Medjugorje with you wherever you go.”


Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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