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Interfaith Engagement & Faith Communities

Interfaith Engagement at BenU

At Benedictine, interfaith relationships spring from our Catholic roots. St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine order, wrote in The Rule of St. Benedict, “All guests are to be welcomed as Christ. For he will say, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).” (Chapter 53:1)

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.”

We celebrate and daily live the words of Pope Francis, “Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue is not a luxury, but something which our world, wounded by conflict and division, increasingly needs.” We take seriously the call of St. Pope John Paul II, “Each member of the faithful and all Christian communities are called to practice interfaith dialogue.”

At Benedictine our students come from many different faith backgrounds. Our students are Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Atheist, Protestant, and many more traditions.

We believe this diversity is an opportunity to create a living example of how religious and nonreligious people can live together as a 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.

Benedictine invites and encourages students of any faith or none to work together to discover their purpose, grow in their self-awareness and contribute to the common good. If you are interested in creating a small faith group, contact [email protected].

We ground our work in the Principles of Dialogue, created by the Interfaith Cooperation Committee in 2019.

We value our diversity and strive to bring people together to converse about religion in a supportive, nonproselytizing and nonjudgmental environment. This helps to form a common bond and leads to greater understanding of each other so that we can work together as one community. Opportunities for interfaith engagement include various student-led intercultural and interreligious groups such as the Movement of Students Achieving Interfaith Collaboration (M.O.S.A.I.C.), Catholic-Muslim Dialogue and other interfaith programming.

Catholic – Muslim Diaglogue

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 [email protected].

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“Interfaith” is about more than simply 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 America.

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 about our next event.

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Orthodox Christian Fellowship

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 [email protected] for the link to join!

Sikh Awareness and Appreciation

To celebrate our Sikh community, we held two events to be in dialogue with one another. You are invited to watch this recording and learn something new about the world’s fifth largest religion.

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Interfaith Retreat

Join us for a one-day retreat exploring important religious 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!

Interfaith Cooperation Committee

Campus Ministry works closely with BenU’s Interfaith Cooperation Committee. Chaired by Rita George Tvrtkovic, associate professor of theology, and consultor to Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The Interfaith Cooperation Committee (ICC) includes faculty and staff from a wide range of religions on campus. Some projects the ICC has worked on over the years include creating the Interfaith Prayer Room in Kindlon Hall and installing a Peace Pole on campus.

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 “Interfaith America“.