Interfaith Literacy and Service

Interfaith Events


Primary sacred times for world religions

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See a report about our previous World Interfaith Harmony Week, “TOGETHER Caring for Creation” pictured above.

An “All Faiths Reflection Room” in the new UIW Student Engagement Center Building was named in honor of Adell Ferguson Polk, the first Black graduate of Incarnate Word College in 1956. Read a little about this fine woman  She was a woman of faith and dedication. Please help spread word of the “All Faiths Reflection Room” which has texts from some of the major faiths, prayer rugs, chairs and a quiet peaceful atmosphere.

president_all_faiths_roomUIW President Thomas Evans assisting in the dedication of the All Faiths Reflection Room in the new Student Engagement Center, Room 3140.

UIW Joining Circles of Interfaith Service for “Affordable Housing, Homelessness, and Gentrification.” UIW faculty and students are invited to gather ideas for service in light of this “Religious Leadership and Civic Engagement” initiative  and soon a strategic plan for united efforts will be developed. Learn more

Both National Catholic Reporter and Religion News Service featured the story of the growing interfaith initiative, "After 50 years, clergy work together again in San Antonio, for affordable housing." Read more.  

Sister Martha Ann Kirk of UIW has been an active participant since the beginning. While the Catholic Church and some other religious groups, do not define women as clergy, in the interfaith movement, women are often invited to function as clergy do, uniting in works of service.

Upcoming Events

Learn of Interfaith Literacy, Fluency, and Service from faculty members participating in the Interfaith Youth Core Innovation Grant this year. Enter into conversation with grant advisors and consider how to continue developing interfaith understanding and service at UIW.  Tuesday, April 24, 10:30 am Mabee Library Special Collections Room. 

Members of the UIW community are invited to the Ramadan Dialogue Dinner hosted by the Raindrop Foundation, May 26, 2018.  This commemorates Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan focused on fasting, works of charity, and prayer. Meet at 7:30 pm to make friends, listen to live Sufi music, learn more about the practice of fasting during the holiest month. Enjoy the fast-breaking dinner of delicious Turkish foods after sunset (about 8:30 pm). Donations to help the SA Food Bank will be accepted.  Contacts: Sister Martha Ann Kirk, Ettling Center for Civic Leadership, and Dr. Suleyman Tek. Please RSVP to

Recent Past Events

matMatachines Leading Prayer in Dance, April 15, 11:45 am to 5 pm, UIW Campus,4301 Broadway, SA 78209,  Our Lady's Grotto. Also other intercultural and interfaith exhibits and activities. this is part the Incarnate Word Festival held for the San Antonio Tricentennial.  See below. 

“Interfaith Music Ensemble” from the Turkish Raindrop House, Sunday, April 15, 12 noon – 1 pm, Outdoor stage by Dubuis Hall, UIW,   This group of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian musicians performs with Middle Eastern instruments and song. Turkish Folk-Dance by students of the Harmony School of Excellence. 

This day will also include an the American Indians leading a ceremony at the Blue Hole, the sacred site of the Headwaters of the San Antonio River at Incarnate Word at 1 p.m, Read about all the free family-friendly events 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday, April 15,

“Interplay of Ethnic Nationalism and Islam in post Soviet Kazakhstan” presented by Dr. Damira Sikhimbayeva,  a Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Political Science and Religion Studies, Department of Political Science in Kazakhstan. She is currently a Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Anthropology, Texas A & M University. Dr. Sikhimbayeva obtained her PhD in Political Science at Al Farabi Kazakh National University in 2014. Her research interests include the impact of religion on the modern world, interethnic relations, and ethno politics.  April 18, Wednesday, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, UIW, 4301 Broadway, San Anotnio, TX 78209, Student Engagement Center 2030

“Peacebuilding in the Modern World” a Panel Discussion with Fulbright Scholars: Dr. Damira Sikhimbayeva from Kazkhstan, Dr. Sona Manusyan, Armenia, Dr. Emre Hatipoglu, Turkey, Dr. Kacper Tomasz Gradon, Poland, moderated by Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez.  Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6:30 – 7:30 PM, Rosenberg Skyroom, UIW International Conference Center,  847 E Hildebrand Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212. RSVP:


celebrate_springCelebrate Spring  UIW Students, faculty, and friends hosed refugee children and their families for the 8th annual gathering with arts, crafts, music, stories, and games about Passover, Easter, Narouz, and Holi, spring traditions of different faiths. Friday, March 30, 9:30 am to 1 pm, St. Francis Episcopal Church Pavilion, 4242 Bluemel Rd, San Antonio, Texas. Learn more about UIW people of different faiths sharing with people of different faiths    and 

interfaith_music“Teaching Compassion and Making a Difference,” the 13th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner and Award Ceremony, March 3, 2018, 6 - 8:30 pm, UIW Rosenberg Skyroom. Acclaimed writer John Phillip Santos was the keynote speaker, music by the Raindrop interfaith ensemble of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, awards to civic leaders and groups. Hosted by the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest co-sponsored by UIW.  

Sikh Art and Film Festival, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018,  5:00 – 8:30 pm, Trinity University Laurie Auditorium. Learning about the vibrant Sikh community and meeting inspiring leaders such as  Lt. Col. Kamal Singh Kalsi. RSVP   

holiFestival of Colors. The South Asian festival of Holi was celebrated at UIW on Thursday, March 1 from 11:30 a.m., - 5 p.m., on Dubuis Lawn. The Festival of Colors included a World Market, cultural activities, live DJ, musical and dance performances from around the world, and free food provided by Pasha Express. Holi Color throwing was at 4pm. Free T-shirts for Holi participants. Co-hosted by Campus Life and Pasha Express. For more info, contact Sheena Connell at (210) 805-5705 or

World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7, 2018

The University of the Incarnate Word joins communities around the world observing this special time designated by the United Nations.   

Thursday, February 1, 2018,  UIW Library Special Collections, 4:30 pm. Opening dialogue and recepti

Join Muslim friends, Friday, February 2, 1 pm, Muslim Children Education and Civic Center, 5281 Casa Bella, San Antonio, TX 78249 (UIW Alumni of Distinction Sarwat Husain invites us.)

Join Jewish friends, Friday February 2, 6:15 pm, Conregation Agudas Achim, 16550 Huebner Road, San Antonio, TX 78248 (UIW Music faculty Dr. Orit Eylon will be cantoring.)

Learning to serve together--Saturday, February 3, 11th Annual Community Service Learning (CSL) Conference, “Health Where We Live: The Role of the Neighborhood,” Health care as a collaborative effort.  Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD, Vice Chairman of Medicine for Population Health and Director of the Arnhold Institute for the Mount Sinai Healthcare System, will share wisdom gleaned from his global and domestic experiences in community health discussed in his recent book Dying and Living in the Neighborhood: A Street-Level View of America’s Healthcare Promise. The conference is free, but register by Register online by January 27

Join Hindu friends, Sunday morning, February 4, 10:00 AM, Hindu Temple 18518 Bandera Road,  Helotes, TX 78023   

Join Buddhist friends, Sunday morning, February 4, 10:30AM ceremony and 12noon lunch,                                        Wat Dhammabucha,  6201 Sawyer Road, San Antonio, TX 78238, Phone (210) 520-5011                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Join Christian friends, Monday, February 5, 12 noon for Catholic Eucharist, Our Lady’s Chapel, UIW Administration Building

Join Buddhist friends, Tuesday, February 6, 7 pm for meditation instruction                                                                The Shambhala Meditation Center, 257 E. Hildebrand  San Antonio, TX 78212                                    

 The UIW 2018 World Interfaith Harmoney events were listed at  

 Asian New Year 2018, Feruary 12, 11:30AM-1:30PM, The University of the Incarnate Word Student Engagement Center Ballroom. Free wonderful performances and great cultural experience! Learn of Asian religious traditions. If you are interested in the city celebration.

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 Read About and see Pictures of Past Events  in 2017

Interfaith Literacy for All UIW Employees, Sept. 15, Friday, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM, Admin 365 or attend by ZOOM. Repeated Sept. 20, 12 noon to 1 pm, Library Special Collections. See the 50 minute film of the introduction presented by Sister Martha Ann Kirk (Religious Studies, Ettling Center for Civic Leadership), Dr. Lopita Nath (History), and Dr. Susan Hall (Center for Teaching and Learning) If you would like, to see up close the two PowerPoints which were shown in that film, links can be found at

 Interfaith Accommodations on College Campuses The Interfaith Youth Core three-part webinar Interfaith Accommodations on College Campuses. The series will explore what it takes to create welcoming spaces for growing worldview diversity. We’ll cover:

· Common interfaith policies and accommodations

· Assessment options for determining need

· Campus-specific steps for implementation

Facilities, Policies, Meal Plans, Oh My: Determining Your Campus Accommodation Needs (October 10, 2017, Gorman Building 120, 12 noon - 1pm)

So, Here’s the Plan: Taking Steps to Establish Interfaith Accommodations (November 7, 2017, Gorman Building 120, 12 noon – 1 pm)

The Difference it Makes: Communicating Positive Impact of Interfaith Accommodations (November 28th, Gorman Building 120, 12 noon – 1 pm)

 Mystical Arts of Tibet, Sunday, October 1, 2017, 1 pm. Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery visit the Institute of Texan Cultures for a four-day residency to construct a magnificent Green Tara Buddhist mandala sand painting and lead rituals closing at the San Antonio River.  Join Sister Martha Ann Kirk and Incarnate Word friends

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 Interfaith Understanding and Support presented by Dr. Lopita Nath and Sister Martha Ann Kirk for International Student Ambassadors, Friday, Oct. 13, 6 pm. Sponsored by the International Student and Scholar Services

Ambassedors UIW Interfaith Conference sponsored by UIW Mission and Ministry, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, Tynman Hall, Oblate School of Theology. Contact Rev Trevor Alexander and Brenda Dimas,  P#: 210-829-3128.

The first panel was shared by UIW students, Norah Al-Ladhal, a Nursing student from Saudi Arabia, David Rodriguez, Business Management student, Deju Keys, a Criminal Justice student, and Zane Alsareinye, a Psychology student who is president of the UIW Interfaith Student organization. Click here to read more including "Building on the Dream: Becoming the Beloved Community" shared by Dr. Raymond Blanton.   

Peace Day, Peace Day, Oct. 25, 12 noon  - 1:15 pm, UIW Student Engagement Center 2030-2,  Nazi Racial Policy, 1933-1945: From Persecution to Extermination  by Dr. Roger Barnes, UIW Professor of Sociology, examined Nazi policies on Jews and other "undesirables" before and during WW II.  He explored how stereotyping, stigmatization, and hate fueled the Holocaust.  The audience considered how some of these forces are manifest in today's society. Contact:    

Peace Day, Oct. 25, 3:00 – 4:15 pm, UIW SEC 2030-2,  Would you have tried to stop the Jewish Holocaust? What are you doing in the face of Rohingya Crisis now? An outbreak of violence against a Muslim group called Rohingyas in Burma (Myanmar) started in 2012. Many have been killed or displaced and this has led to more than 500,000 terrified Rohingya refugees fleeing and going to Bangladesh. Dr. Lopita Nath, Assistant Professor of History, led a panel considering this crisis and the call to respond. Contact:  

rohingha Peace Day, Oct. 25, 6:30 pm, Raindrop Turkish House, Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing Presentations led by murder victim family members who conduct public education speaking tours and addresses alternatives to the death penalty. Over a deligious dinner, Turkish hosts helped all know a little about the respect for life in Islam. Raindrop Turkish House 4337 Vance Jackson. Ste. 203. San Antonio phone 210-337-1114 Contact: Mehmet Oguz (713) 277-5044 

The UIW Saudi Student Club sponsored the Saudi National Day celebration with live traditional music, a Heritage fashion show, a documentary film about the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, photographs, and traditional food. Information on the center of Islam in Mecca. Monday, October 30th, 2017, 6 p.m. to 10 pm. UIW Rosenberg Skyroom at UIW. Contact 210-400-0755.  Email: 

Celebrating the South Asian holiday of Diwali: Festival of Lights at UIW!  Nov. 1, 5 pm Photobooth and Henna, 6 pm Dinner, Puja and Performances, Rosenberg Skyroom, International Conference Center, Hildebrand at 281. Featuring South Asian cuisine, dance and musical performances, information on Diwali, and festivities! Cohosted by International Affairs, Campus Engagement. Special thanks to Dr. Sushma Ramsinghani and Dr. Lopita Nath. UIW students free. diwali17