Author Archives: Matilda Cantwell

A Message from the Director

Dear Friends, Last spring Smith conducted a national search for the new leader of the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, and I put my hat in the ring, so to speak, after serving as Interim Director for a year, … Continue reading

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Conveying True Welcome

In these times of discrimination against immigrants, people of color, those seeking refuge, and so many other groups, in addition to a rash of gun violence and natural disasters which have displaced and traumatized whole communities this fall, it is … Continue reading

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Vigil for Natural Disasters and Climate Change

On Tuesday, September 26, students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered on Chapin Lawn to stand in solidarity with those affected by recent natural disasters in Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominica, Texas, Florida, and many other places. We also wanted … Continue reading

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Rituals and Transitions:
Spring at the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

Our website highlights several recent perspectives on the season and how the holidays in different religious traditions incorporate spring. I have always found it to be so profound how the religious traditions; celebrating their own stories and events; are so … Continue reading

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Sacred Space and Beloved Community

The Yoga aphorisms of Patanjali from the third century state “what we truly worship we make sacred.” This philosophy rings very true for me. I believe it applies to “worship” in the broadest sense: quiet, alert walks in the woods; … Continue reading

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Mourning, Intersectionality, and Hope
Part II: Don’t Be Selective

We have been focusing our  vigils on  shedding light in places where the inquiry and fervor of the media does not go. To vigil means to “pay attention” and to be “watchful.” Members of our diverse community are often directly affected … Continue reading

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Mourning, Intersectionality, and Hope
Part I: #OurThreeBrothers

At the end of February, three young immigrant men, two of whom were Muslim, were tragically killed in Fort Wayne, Indiana under unknown circumstances. They were murdered “execution style” in an abandoned building that was “under surveillance” by police for … Continue reading

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MLK & Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative (Part 2)

After the opening remarks on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the American Friends Service Committee hosted two panel discussions on racial justice. I was proud to moderate the first panel of student fellows for the Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative … Continue reading

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MLK & Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative (Part 1)

Over January Term (or J-term), two students participated in a fellowship for with our Center as part of our Justice, Identity, and Social Change (JISC) initiative. These students, Raven Fowlkes-Witten and Lucy Tucker, serve on our JISC advisory board. The … Continue reading

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The Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative:
Spiritual Life Meets Social Justice

  It feels like the World is burning. This is what Sensei Ryumon Baldoquin, Community Religious Adviser, said at our first “Peace Meal,” a gathering for dialogue and discussion of difficult problems. Certainly in the last few weeks, with the … Continue reading

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