From the President: Religious and holiday observances

Religious diversity
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
DePaul is and always has been a university that welcomes people of every faith to study and work. Our diverse and accepting environment is a key component of our university culture and our Vincentian mission. Therefore, I ask the university community to remember our diverse heritage by facilitating a culture of respect, understanding and civility for religious holidays throughout the year.  

I also ask that you make appropriate accommodations to allow students, faculty and staff to fully express their faith. If a student needs to turn in an assignment late or even reschedule an exam that falls during a religious holiday, allow flexibility. If you are a manager, make reasonable accommodations for the requests of your staff to take a vacation day, or to simply take a vacation hour at the end of the day in order to be home before sundown.

I encourage you to maintain this flexibility and understanding throughout the academic year. When planning your syllabus or choosing a date for an event, consider reviewing whether the dates you select may affect observant religious populations that may have restrictions around certain holidays. To help you plan, a calendar of all religious holidays and suggested accommodations is available on the Mission and Ministry website.

For your convenience, details on upcoming Jewish and Muslim services and activities are outlined below. If you have any questions, I encourage you to contact the Religious Diversity staff.

Thank you for your respect as our diverse religious communities celebrate upcoming holidays and others throughout the year.

DePaul Jewish Life and High Holidays

The Jewish New Year begins on the evening of Sept. 29 and all are welcome to celebrate during the annual DePaul High Holiday services. Rosh Hashanah services will be held the evening of Sept. 29 at 6 pm and the morning of September 30, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Yom Kippur services will take place on Oct. 8 and 9 at 9 a.m. as well as 6 p.m. on both days. All services will be in room 120 of the Lincoln Park Student Center.

Members of the DePaul community as well as family and friends are invited to join DePaul’s Jewish community in celebrating these special holidays. As is the custom, services are provided free of charge to DePaul students, faculty and staff. However, due to capacity restrictions, participants are asked to register for a ticket online and in advance.

Please note, while there is no service at DePaul on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the holiday extends through sundown Tuesday, Oct. 1. Observant students take off both days, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, as well as Yom Kippur on Oct. 9.

For more information on High Holidays or for general questions regarding Jewish Life and the Jewish community at DePaul, please contact DePaul’s Jewish Life Coordinator, Matthew Charnay, at (773) 325-8650 or mcharnay@depaul.edu.
   
Muslim Life and Eid Celebrations 

The major holiday on the Muslim calendar, Eid al Adha, was observed in August this year. Eid al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) commemorates the sacrifices made by the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) for the sake of God. It comes at the end of the Hajj season, when millions of Muslims from around the world travel to Mecca for the pilgrimage journey of their lifetimes.
  
A celebration of Eid al Adha as well as a celebration of the new academic year will take place with a Welcome Back Jumu′ah prayer followed by refreshments on Friday, Sept. 20. Weather permitting, the Jumu′ah prayer will be held outside in St. Vincent's Circle at 1:15 p.m., with refreshments served in the Muslim Life Center (LPSC 329).

Students, faculty and staff are always welcome to pray in the Muslim Life Center and prayer room in the Lincoln Park Student Center, room 329, or on the Loop Campus in the Muslim prayer room in the CDM building, room 436. Weekly Friday (Jumu′ah) prayer services are held at 1:15 p.m. in the Lincoln Park Muslim Life Center throughout the school year. The annual Fast-a-thon will be held in February this year and Ramadan and Eid al Fitr will be observed in the spring. More details about these events will be announced later.

Please contact Abdul-Malik Ryan, the assistant director of the Religious Diversity and Pastoral Care who also serves as Chaplain for Muslim Life:  mryan42@depaul.edu.  Abdul-Malik can also provide information on weekly programs, classes and activities available for Muslim students or others interested in Islam or Muslims at DePaul.  

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