Interfaith Service Challenge

Celebrate Spring “Celebrate Spring,” is an annual gathering in which UIW students, faculty, and friends have hosted refugee families to have fun, make new friends, and learn of many cultures and religions. Easter, Passover, Holi, and Narouz are remembered.  Read about these gatherings in the past and consider helping with the celebration on Good Friday.

2013 celebration - 2012 celebration - 2010 celebration


 

IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF FRANCIS AND THE SULTAN: A MODEL FOR PEACEMAKING.

imageEnjoy a delightful evening of film, meeting new friends, sharing food and conversation, interfaith dialogue, and opportunities to visit both a mosque and a church on September 13, 2013.

The film, IN THE FOOTPRINTS OF FRANCIS AND THE SULTAN shares a little-known story of the Fifth Crusade in 1219. St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malek Al-Kamil engaged in dialogue which eventually led to peace. Their example is an invitation to us to join in respectful dialogues with people of different faiths and cultures.

September 13, 2013, 5:30 pm Registration, displays, 6 to 9 p.m. Program Begins at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Parish Hall, 4201 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, TX 78249 www.sfasat.org/ and continues at the Muslim Children Education & Civic Center, 5281 Casa Bella St. San Antonio, TX 78249. www.mcecc.com/

Free and open to the public---donations are welcome. Youth groups are invited. Please RSVP by Sept. 8 with the number of people coming by writing interfaithservice@yahoo.com or leave a message at (210) 829-3854.

Dress Code
The program begins with supper at 6 pm in the parish hall of St. Francis Church. Those who wish may come between 5:30 and 6 pm register and then see the inside of St. Francis Church. Modest dress is appreciated in Catholic churches. After super and the film, both men and women should be dressed modestly and conservatively for visiting the mosque, not wearing shorts and covering legs. Women should bring a shawl or scarf to cover head and arms in the mosque. Shoes are to be taken off before entering the mosque. We appreciate your respectful cooperation.

A part of the 2013 Pilgrimage of Compassion initiated by the peaceCENTER for San Antonio to become a City of Compassion. See sacompassionnet.org/

For an 8.5 by 11 inch colored poster which can be printed, click here. For 5.5 by 8.5 inch black and white fliers which can be printed, click here.

Background Information

For more information on the film sponsored by the USCCB Campaign for Human Development, the Institute of Interfaith Dialog, and the Franciscans, see www.franciscanmedia.org/francissultan/

Learn more of the PEACE TRIPTYCH icons by Brother Robert Lentz, OFM. He painted the Sultan, Francis, and Fakhr ad-Din al-Farisi, a Persian Sufi who advised the Sultan. Brother Robert writes, “Al-Kamil was known as a kind, generous, fair ruler. He was nephew to the great Salah al-Din. At Damietta alone he offered peace to the Crusaders five times, and, according to western accounts, treated defeated Crusaders humanely. His goal was to establish a peaceful coexistence with Christians.” www.trinitystores.com/store/art-image/peace-triptych

The on-line Resource Guide for the film has good background materials and activities catalog.franciscanmedia.org/Guide/pdf/D36630ResourceMaterial.pdf

The song "We Come Only Armed with Love" by Jesse Manibusan and Franciscan Brother Rufino Zaragoza, OFM, remembers the story of the Sultan and Francis. The video shows some contemporary Muslim and Christian peacemakers. How many can you identify? www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyWZhk4ZDFo

An article on the relevance of the film In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan: A Model for Peacemaking
ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/recent-release-francis-and-sultan-documentary-perfect-timing

For those interested in scholarly background, the Lebanese author, Amin Maalouf wrote The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (New York: Schocken Books, 1984) based on primary documents.

In 2010 the Catholic Press Association presented the award for best history book to Paul Moses for The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi’s Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009). The Sultan was a wise ruler who preferred trade, negotiation, and peace to warfare.

imageThe distinguished scholar Dr. Scott C. Alexander will share a keynote address at the first “Regional Interfaith Conference: Engaging in Dialogue” hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word on August 6, 2013.
He is an Associate Professor of Islam and Director of the Catholic-Muslim Studies Program at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture and is a consultant on Catholic-Muslim relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. His most recent book project is entitled The Race to Goodness: an End to Triumphalism in Christian-Muslim Relations and deals with the inherent contradiction between religious claims to universal truth and the religiously motivated desire to impose this truth on others as a means of political and cultural domination.

For the whole conference program and a registration form, click here For a poster, click here. The Conference will be held at the Whitley Theological Center at the Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, 8:45 am to 5 pm.


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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


Courtesy of - Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown UniversityDr. 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.

uiw.edu/thewordonline/2012/03/pharmacy-students-see-their-education-at-work-while-helping-the-community/

Read more


Dr Chandrika KaulThe 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.


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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


Directory of Participants

Institution's Challenge Leader

  • Dr. Lopita Nath (nath@uiwtx.edu) University of the Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway CPO # 64, Phone: (210) 829-3880

Student Leadership

  • Marty Battafarano (battafar@student.uiwtx.edu) 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 (shanson@student.uiwtx.edu) Academic Concentration: Major in Education with minor in Special Education and Reading. Graduation Year: May 2012. Interfaith Student Organization. Education Club.

Cross-Campus Partners

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.


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