DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Religious observances 2021

Religious observances: facilitating a culture of respect, understanding and civility

Sand mandala
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
Our university's new Mission Statement, adopted this past spring, states that DePaul, “guided by an ethic of Vincentian personalism and professionalism ...compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community." Today, more than ever, DePaul strives to create an accepting and nurturing environment in which people of every faith are supported and nurtured.

Supporting members of the university's diverse multi-faith community is a key component of our university culture and our Vincentian mission. As we return to campus, 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 major religious holidays and suggested accommodations is available on the Mission and Ministry website.

For your convenience, Mission and Ministry provided details on upcoming Jewish and Muslim services and activities, as 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.

Jewish High Holidays and Jewish life at DePaul

The Jewish New Year begins on the evening of Sept. 6. This year, the High Holiday celebrations at DePaul will all be virtual through Zoom as well as in person, with services once again being led by Cantor David Chack, with Annie Reznik, a DePaul Theatre student, adding to the celebrations through her magnificent gift of music.

Rosh Hashanah services will be held the evening Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. and the morning of Sept. 7, beginning at 9:30 am. Yom Kippur services will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 15 and the day of Sept 16.

(Please note, while there is no service at DePaul on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the holiday extends through sundown on Sept. 8. Observant community members take both Sept. 7 and Sept. 8 off, as well as Yom Kippur on Sept 16.) 

Members of the DePaul community, as well as family and friends, are invited to join DePaul's Jewish community in celebrating these special Jewish 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 at:

All registrants will receive Zoom information prior to the holiday celebrations.

Jewish Life staff and students remain committed to providing on-going support and care to DePaul's Jewish community whether virtually or face to face. 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

Muslim Eid celebrations and Muslim life at DePaul

The major holiday on the Muslim calendar, Eid ul Adha, was celebrated in July of this year. Eid ul 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 normally travel to Mecca for the pilgrimage journey of their lifetimes (only a small number of people from inside Saudi Arabia were able to attend this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic). Ashura, which is especially important for Shi'a Muslims, for whom it represents the eternal importance of standing up and sacrificing for justice in the face of oppression, was observed in August.

DePaul Muslim Life looks forward to resuming in person educational, spiritual and social programming which will be supplemented by hybrid and online opportunities. This will include the resumption of Friday Jumu'ah prayer services on the Lincoln Park campus at 1:15 p.m. in the Muslim Life Center, Room 329 in the Lincoln Park Student Center. We look forward to our annual Fast-a-thon in February and Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr celebrations in the spring. The format of these events and all other programming will continue to depend on the ongoing public health situation.

Please contact Abdul-Malik Ryan, the assistant director of Religious Diversity and Pastoral Care, who also serves as chaplain for Muslim Life at, with regard to questions about religious accommodations, prayer spaces on campus and weekly programs, classes and activities available for Muslim students or others interested in Islam or Muslims at DePaul.