The University of the Incarnate Word is one of about 250 universities in the United States committed to interfaith service as part of President Obama's Interfaith Challenge under the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.The President said, "The particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us. Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and to rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times." Listen to the President
Under the leadership of Dr. Lopita Nath, a number of faculty members, UIW Mission and Ministry, and two student leaders, Marty Battafarano and Sarah Hanson, gathered ideas for the UIW proposal that focuses on service to refugees and advancing interfaith ideas and cultural dialogue through education. Read highlights of the 2011-2012 proposal.
Dr. Lopita Nath and Sister Martha Ann Kirk of UIW joined presidents and their representatives from about 250 universities on August 3, 2011 at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building to open a year of activities in response to President Obama's Interfaith Challenge. Read more.
Service Projects and Reflections on These
Over a hundred students in various classes were involved in service-learning projects and working with the Refugee Resettlement program in collaboration with Catholic Charities as community partner. Service projects with refugees during 2011 have included Meet the Mission. Read more. Arts and Crafts from Around the World, a fair with UIW students making refugee friends. Read more.
Students of Dr. Lopita Nath's Refugee class, Dr. Emile Clark's World Literature class, and Dr. Tanja Stampfl's World Literature class were meeting regularly with refugees to build relationships with them. These students and faculty presented an Interfaith Community Program describing classes involved with Interfaith Service. Read more.
Students in the Honors Program on a Social Justice and Service trip to the Rio Grande Valley helped and were enriched by refugees at La Posada Providencia. Read more.
The History Club organized a Toiletry Drive to help provision the refugee apartments when they arrived. The students donated generously. The total value of the donations was about $1,000.
Interfaith Dialogue and Educational Events
An Interfaith Student Organization has been organized and meets regularly. Read more. Many Interfaith dialogue and educational events have been held. September 11, 2011 UIW students presented in a city-wide interfaith service hosted by the San Antonio PeaceCENTER. Students shared pantomime and song based on Micah 4, "Everyone beneath their vine and fig tree shall live in peace and unafraid. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, their spears into pruning hooks. Nations shall know war no more." On September 21, the community hosted the United Nations International Day of Peace with prayers from many traditions.
The National Optometric Student Association chapter at the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry has had three interfaith programs beginning with a celebration of Eid. Read more. Internationally acclaimed Rabbi Jack Bemporad and numerous speakers and twelve programs were shared within the October Season of Justice and Peace. Read more.
The Institute of Interfaith Dialog and UIW Liturgical Outreach hosted a Friendship and Dialog Dinner with civic and religious representatives from the city. Read more.
The Interfaith Council sponsored a panel on "How do you teach your children about your faith?How do you teach them about other faiths?" organized by Marty Battafarano and Rev. Trevor Alexander of UIW Mission and Ministry. Read more.
Affirmation from President Obama. After receiving midyear reports of campus activities, at a prayer breakfast President Obama spoke of our responses as an example, “Colleges across the country have answered our Interfaith Campus Challenge, and students are joined together across religious lines in service to others.” The President’s complete remarks are posted at whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/02/remarks-president-national-prayer-breakfast
The Asian New Year was celebrated at UIW on January 24, 2012, in Marian Hall Ballroom. While observing the Chinese New Year, which is "Year of the Dragon," UIW traditionally celebrates the meeting of many Asian cultures.The traditional Tea Ceremony, Tai Chi, the Lion Dance, the Chinese lantern dancer, an Asian Fashion show, a Bollywood Dance, song, and food will be enjoyed. The UIW International Program's Institute of World Cultures hosts the event.
Dr. Syafaatun Almirzanah presented "When Mystic Masters Meet: Towards a New Matrix for Christian-Muslim Dialogue" February 7, 2012, 7 p.m., Marian Hall Ballroom. Professor Almirzanah will focus focued on the approaches of a Christian and a Muslim spiritual master of the past, Meister Eckhart and Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-`Arabi, and how they might help us enter into dialogue today. Dr. Almirzanah is a Professor of Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Diplomacy at The University of Indonesia, Jakarta. She is the Founding Director of the La Convivencia Center for Human Rights and Religious Values. As a response to this successful presentation by Dr. Almirzanah, Narjis Pierre, leader of the San Antonio Muslim Women’s Association, will lead a monthly discussion on “When Mystic Masters Meet” starting in March at VivaBooks vivabooks.com.
Community Garden Groundbreaking. Dr. Scott Dittloff and Zacil Andrade from the University of the Incarnate Word were a part of the ground breaking of the “Community Interfaith Education Literacy Opportunity” Community Garden on February 11, 2012 at House of Prayer Lutheran Church. Members of the UIW community are encouraged to join the refugees working in the garden every weekend. Many of the refugees are skilled in growing their own food. U.S. students often do not know how to do this and can learn. Gardening is healthy exercise and an opportunity to see the wonder of God’s creation. Read more. Read MySA.com article
Dr. John L. Esposito, author of over forty-five books, professor and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University was the featured speaker March 23-25, 2012, in "Where in the World is Compassion? Creating Ongoing Relationships for the Common Good." With Dr. Ali Asani of Harvard University and voices from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This included a Friday evening dinner and panel co-hosted by many local Muslim organizations. The Saturday Pax Christi State Conference welcomed all to dialogue. For details: uiw.edu/compassionconference Read more
A free program was sponsored by the UIW Interfaith Council, World Religions: Sacred Music, Sunday, March 25, 5 – 7 pm. "How do different religions use sacred music in the act of worship?" organized by graduate student Marty Battafrano.
Responding to the White House Challenge for Interfaith service, the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society Delta Eta Chapter at the UIW Feik School of Pharmacy (FSOP) held a health fair for the refugee population in San Antonio on Saturday, March 24, 2012.
Sister Martha Ann Kirk, Jean Loden, Dr. Adrienne Ambrose, Sister Alice Holden, UIW alum Linda Salam, Rolla Alaydi, and students hosted “Celebrate Spring” for refugee children and their families at Denman Estate Park in April. About forty people from Iraq, Nepal, Palestine, Kenya, and the U.S. happily learned from each other of celebrations of new life. Read more
In the past have had “Celebrate Spring” and we hope to continue this annually. Read more
The UIW Asian Studies hosted Dr Chandrika Kaul, from the Department of Modern History, University of St. Andrews, Scotland on April 11, 2012, Library Auditorium, 5 p.m. She presented on the Media in the British Imperial period. She specializes in Modern South Asia, especially Indian history and politics, and British media and popular culture including contemporary media; Globalization and transnational Communications.
A ground breaking for a Multi-faith Worship Center at UIW will be held in 2012. People of various faiths can pray or have quiet reflection there. This complements the current Catholic chapels which the University of the Incarnate Word has as a school with Catholic origins. We value that many of our students and other members of our community seek to pray often. We encourage our students to practice their own traditions and to meet with others of their own traditions. Read more.
Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, Marty Battafarano, Rev. Trevor Alexander, and Dr. Lopita Nath, leader of the UIW response to President Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Challenge, joined Campus Ministers, Faculty, and Administration at St. Edward’s University, February 3, to consider progress and plans in regard to Interfaith Service. After receiving midyear reports of campus activities, at a prayer breakfast President Obama spoke of our responses as an example, “Colleges across the country have answered our Interfaith Campus Challenge, and students are joined together across religious lines in service to others.” The President’s complete remarks are posted at whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/02/remarks-president-national-prayer-breakfast
Institution's Challenge Leader
Dr. Lopita Nath (email@example.com) University of the Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway CPO # 64, Phone: (210) 829-3880
Marty Battafarano (firstname.lastname@example.org) Academic Concentration: Masters in Pastoral Ministry with a focus on Interfaith Dialogue. Graduation Year: May 2012. Organizations: Social Justice and Community Service Graduate Assistant for UIW University Mission and Ministry.
Sarah Hanson (email@example.com) Academic Concentration: Major in Education with minor in Special Education and Reading. Graduation Year: May 2012. Interfaith Student Organization. Education Club.
Office of the Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences: Dr. Bob Connelly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Interfaith Council: Rev. Trevor Alexander (email@example.com)
Mission and Ministry: Sr. Walter Maher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Department of Religious Studies: Sr. Martha Ann Kirk (email@example.com), Simone Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sylvia L. Maddox (email@example.com), Dr. Julie Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
English Department: Dr. Emily Clark (email@example.com), Dr. Tanja Stampfl (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Psychology Department: Dr. Harold Rodinsky (email@example.com)
Feik School of Pharmacy: Dr. Jason Costa and Dr. Sushma Ramsinghani (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Government and International Affairs Department: Dr. Lydia Andrade (Andrade@uiwtx.edu) , Dr. Scott Ditloff (email@example.com), Ambassador James Creagan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Women's Global Connection: Sr. Dorothy Ettling (email@example.com)
Rosenberg School of Optometry: Dean Dr. Andrew Buzzelli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Web Author: Blanca E. Morales
The University of the Incarnate Word provides reasonable accommodation with adequate notice. To request disability accommodation for this event, visit www.uiw.edu and click on the ADA/Section 504 link.