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“Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ.”
—“The Rule of St. Benedict,” Chapter 53
At Benedictine, interfaith relationships spring from our Catholic roots. According to Nostra Aetate (the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council) Catholics believe that all humanity forms one community.
The Church, therefore Benedictine Campus Ministry, "rejects nothing of what is true and holy in [other] religions.”
Catholics understand themselves as being one with Jews, as having a high regard for the monotheism of Muslims and as admiring the understanding of the "state of perfect liberation and ... supreme illumination" of Hinduism, according to the papal declaration.
At Benedictine our students come from many different faith backgrounds. Of the 65 percent of Spring 2016 traditional undergraduate students on the Lisle campus who indicated a religious preference:
We believe this diversity is an opportunity for us to create a space that is a living example of how religious and nonreligious persons can live together in community, work together for the good of the world, and be united in a true appreciation and respect for diversity. We welcome the world to Benedictine University as St. Benedict has bid us to do. The section for Ecumenical and Interfaith Engagement in Campus Ministry welcomes all faculty, staff and students to dialogue, join in our interreligious initiatives and pray as Jesus taught us to pray, "that they all might be one."
Ecumenical and Interfaith engagement at Benedictine takes a variety of forms, and we welcome all be involved. Here you’ll find more information about different ways you can bring together your own religious and nonreligious experiences with those of others.
The Interfaith Cooperation Committee (ICC) was established in Fall 2014. This advisory committee was created following a key recommendation of the Campus Interfaith Climate Survey sponsored by the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC).
Chaired by Rita George Tvrtkovic, Associate Professor of Theology, the committee includes faculty and staff from a wide range of religions on campus, including a Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Atheist/Humanist, and Christians of several different denominations. The committee meets on an ad hoc basis to help the university better live out its Benedictine value of hospitality. Some projects we've worked on over the years include creating the Interfaith Prayer Room in Kindlon Hall, and reviving the Interfaith Hooding Ceremony (a tradition from the 1990s).
The ICC mission statement: "Benedictine University is rooted in its Catholic, Benedictine Heritage; celebrates all faiths; and is on a journey together. We live this tradition daily."
Rita George Tvrtkovich, Associate Professor, Theology, Chair
Zubair Amir, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature
Peter Huff, Chief Mission Officer and Professor, Theology
Manmohan Kaur, Professor, Mathematics
Carrie Ankeny, Director, Campus Ministry
Jayashree Sarathy, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Anne Marie Smith, Writing Learning Specialist
Monica Tischler, Professor, Biological Sciences
To celebrate our Sikh community we held two events to be in dialogue with one another.
You are invited to watch these recordings and learn something new about the world's 5th largest religion.
"Guru Nanak: The Founder of Sikhism, Life & Legacy"
"I definitely plan on attending every single dialogue ... [nothing] can keep me away from these enriching discussions."
—Onyekachi Nwoke, C12, Health Science
Developed by Rita George-Tvrtkovic, Ph.D., associate professor of Theology, and hosted by Campus Ministry, Catholic-Muslim Dialogue gives students of both faiths an opportunity to come together to share their experiences, ask questions and discuss some of the global issues that are often shaped by religious doctrine.
The group meets bi-weekly over a shared meal in a safe and hospitable space for students to share their beliefs and develop bridges of understanding with one another.
Past topics have included homeschooling, interfaith marriages, Islamophobia, vocation and easily misunderstood customs. Though kept intentionally small to foster true conversation and community, once a semester Catholic-Muslim Dialogue hosts a Fishbowl conversation that is open to the entire campus community.
For more information about joining Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, contact Carol Allen, Campus Ministry, Coordinator of Retreats, Faith Formation Liturgy firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Interfaith" is about more than learning a few facts about another religion.
MOSAIC, which stands for Movement of Students Achieving Interfaith Collaboration, is a student-led organization inspired by Interfaith Youth Core.
MOSAIC’s mission is to develop opportunities to serve with individuals of other faiths and work toward creating an atmosphere in which talking about one’s faith is a social norm. Join MOSAIC to develop leadership skills and work with classmates to model a life of service, cooperation and activism rooted in a deep understanding and respect for diverse faith traditions.
MOSAIC leads a variety of events at Benedictine and in the community, including the Interfaith Week held every fall. Stay tuned for more details on our next event.
Bible Study meets every Wednesday at 12:30pm on Zoom. Our Bible Study is led by student leaders. Students of all Christian faith traditions are welcome. Bring a friend! Contact email@example.com for more information.
The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) at Benedictine University exists for students of the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition at Benedictine. OCF meets regularly to fellowship, discuss Eastern Orthodox history, culture, and theology, and plan events for the wider campus community to learn more about this branch of the Christian tradition. For more information about OCF, click here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to join!
Join us for a one-day retreat exploring important religous spaces, practices, and traditions in the local community. Take time to reflect on your own religious and non-religious values. Enjoy fellowship and delicious local cultural cuisine all while learning more about the religious diversity at BenU and in the community. Registration opens soon!