Holy Cross Community Gathers as ‘One Human Family’ At Multifaith Prayer

January 25th, 2017 by 


I Nyoman Catra, visiting fellow in Balinese performing arts in the theatre department, offers a Balinese chant during multifaith community prayer service. Photo by: Tom Rettig

Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Unitarianism, Agnosticism, Christianity — these were just a few of the traditions and identities present among the large gathering of College of the Holy Cross community members that filled Mary Chapel on Jan. 24, the first official day of the Spring 2017 semester.

The sixth annual multifaith community prayer service welcomed students, faculty, staff, and faith leaders from the local community to join together in celebration of all faiths and the universal call to serve the common good.

“We gather today in friendship, women and men of different beliefs and traditions to be sure, but members of one human family,” Marybeth Kearns-Barrett ’84, director of the chaplains’ office, began the service led by Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College.

Attendees were surrounded by hymns and readings in Arabic, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Balinese and English offered by students and local faith leaders, a reminder of the diversity of our community and the College’s mission of solidarity.

The message of the multifaith service was reinforced by Amit Taneja, the associate dean for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, who offered a reflection on the major takeaways of his own spiritual journey.

Recognizing the challenges faced in our own communities and around the world, Taneja acknowledged that now, more than ever, our faiths are being put to the test and reminded the community of each individual’s role in creating a just world.

He left students, faculty, and staff with a simple imploration as they launch into the spring semester: “Collectively, as people of faith and people of conscience, we are being called to do God’s work and I hope that you will spend some time over the coming months to speak to God, and figure out what you are being called to do.”

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