As a traditionally Catholic university, Sacred Heart has done a lot of work in regard to introducing and implementing new faiths on campus. In addition, the staff covers many other religions like Judaism, Islam, Protestantism, Russian Orthodox, and many more.
Some students believe that Sacred Heart respects and recognizes all religions both inside and outside the classroom.
“I feel that Sacred Heart celebrates many different religions on campus which I believe is a great thing,” said junior Gianna Romagnoli. “We can see many religions recognized within the campus ministry.”
Campus Ministry at Sacred Heart is accessible to anyone who is interested in gaining more information about faith. Campus Ministry has recruited many leaders of varying faiths to help guide students in learning about other religions.
Buddhist Chaplain Venerable Shim Bo is relatively new to Sacred Heart’s Campus Ministry staff.
“I began serving the SHU community as an Interfaith Chaplain in October of 2021, so I have met the team and have had great chats and experiences with them,” said Venerable Shim Bo. “Priests, Rabbi, Imam, Monks, Consecrated, Lay, and Peer ministers offers the SHU community a wide range of spiritual insights, practices, and pastoral care experience that provide the support that students, faculty and staff want and need.”
As religions represented on campus continue to grow, some students want to get more involved by speaking with campus ministry to learn more.
“I have not personally met the newest members of campus ministry, however I am super interested in meeting them to hear about their views on different faiths and religions, and how they are celebrated on our campus,” said junior Alexandra Carracino.
Some students have taken religion classes that have allowed them to explore different religions.
“I took Introduction to World Religions, and I liked how it exposed me to so many new ideas and helped me understand and appreciate different religions and faiths other than my own,” said junior Jamie Fanizzi.
Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT) is the religion course that all Sacred Heart students are required to take.
“I enjoyed taking CIT because it gave me the opportunity to learn more about religions and have conversations with my classmates that come from all different backgrounds,” said junior Anna Richards.
CIT gives students the opportunity to learn more about the different faiths and religions to help increase their knowledge.
“SHU admits the presence of other faiths because CIT does not deny the integrity or dignity of other religious or spiritual traditions,” said Dr. June-Ann Greeley, professor, director of the Middle Eastern Studies program and advisor to the campus chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma (DES), the national honor society for students at Catholic universities.
Some students believe Sacred Heart has become more open and aware to the diversity of faiths on campus and how they are celebrated throughout campus.
“I believe that recently SHU has done a great job highlighting many different religions on campus through different clubs and organizations,” said junior Ashley Kenneally. “I feel that with the implementation of various religious leaders on campus, many students from different backgrounds can feel accepted and celebrated.”
Some students believe that it is important for many faiths to be recognized on campus.
“We should continue to have outlets for every student because not everyone is going to be Catholic or believe in just one faith,” said junior Adriana Franchino. “Having inclusivity and diversity on campus is very important to the community as a whole.”
Many feel it is essential for students and faculty to respect and gain insight on all the different celebrated faiths around Sacred Heart’s campus.
“The encouragement of a diversity of faiths on campus suggests that the lived experiences and beliefs of all people are to be respected just as any one person’s religious or spiritual life is to be valued,” said Greeley.