Students and staff come together at last year's inaugural Campus Wide Multifaith Prayer. Photo by Rob Carlin
When students return to campus in January, the chaplains’ office will hold the College’s second annual Campus Wide Multifaith Prayer to celebrate the rich faith traditions that are represented at Holy Cross. Students, faculty and staff are invited to gather and participate on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. in Mary Chapel.
“Starting the second semester in a community multifaith prayer is a way of saying we welcome and affirm the presence of all people regardless of faith in the Holy Cross community,” shares Marybeth Kearns-Barrett, director of the chaplains’ office. “When we pray together we are reminded of not only our differences, but also what we share in common, our desire to be part of one human community living in harmony with all of creation.”
The prayer will be led by Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president, and members of the Holy Cross community representing their respective faiths will also read or sing prayers from their traditions.
Virginia Coakley, assistant chaplain and director of Protestant and ALANA (African-American, Latin American, Asian-American, and Native American heritage) ministry, who helped develop last year’s prayer service and presided with Fr. Boroughs, says the multifaith prayer is a very tangible way to affirm, include, and welcome the Holy Cross community as active participants in a prayer experience on campus. “Finding ways to bring the entire community together as equal participants in a prayer/worship experience is significant and attests to the College’s commitment to having a more diverse and inclusive campus,” she explains.
Tina Chen, director of academic services and learning resources, who attended the service last year says, “the inaugural community prayer was both a significant choice by Fr. Boroughs to mark his first official days as our new president and a meaningful invitation from campus ministry to students, staff, administrators and faculty of various faiths. I was moved and inspired by the meditations, prayers, and objects from rich worship traditions around the world shared with us by a diverse group of readers.”
Caner Dagli, assistant professor of religious studies, recalls how surprised he was by the student turnout. “It was a packed house,” he says. “It is not easy to get into any serious depth when it comes to each religious tradition in so short a time and when so many traditions are being represented, but it is good for the life of the College for there to be an awareness of other faith traditions and for an atmosphere of respect and appreciation to be fostered.”
A reception, with foods from around the world, will follow in the Loyola Ballroom.