Bellarmine University has opened a new space on campus
for interfaith prayer, contemplation, meditation and reflection. The room is intended to provide quiet space for observance of multiple faith practices.
The new Interfaith Reflection Room -- on the top floor of the W. L. Lyons Brown Library
in room 202A -- contains prayer rugs, cushions for yoga and meditation, religious texts and other prayer aids. Visitors will also find a small water feature, zen garden and other touches to help establish the room as a calming and meditative space, said
Laura Kline, director of Campus Ministry
"There are many in our community whose traditions call for them to pray multiple times throughout the day at specified
times, and finding a dedicated room on the main part of campus was really an important gesture in the name of inclusive hospitality," said Kline. "I hope that it also provides a tranquil and welcoming space for anyone who just needs to take a moment away
from the busyness of life to sit and breathe."
It joins an existing interfaith prayer space in Anniversary Hall that serves residential students. Kline noted that this more centrally-located space provides easier access throughout the day, especially for commuters, faculty,
staff and campus visitors.
"I couldn’t ask for more," said Fahim Omar, a network engineer at Bellarmine who practices Islam. "Campus Ministry has delivered on their promise to accommodate all faiths and traditions on campus. The spectacular
interfaith prayer room in the library is centrally located and easily accessible, which allows me to frequent it more regularly."
Posted guidelines ask visitors to be respectful of others using the space, though there is not a formal reservation
process. Campus Ministry staff members maintain the room and welcome feedback about how the room can better serve diverse needs.
The new space was dedicated on Thursday, with blessings from Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders.
Campus Ministry efforts to support Bellarmine's interfaith needs include:
- Five Peer Ministers who live and serve in the residence halls, representing a variety of religious and non-religious traditions.
- Referrals to area churches,
temples, synagogues, mosques and centers for students who wish to worship with members of their faith.
- A standing relationship with Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), the nation's leader in campus-based interfaith work.
- Student participation in the
Interfaith Leadership Institute.
- Participation in the IDEALS longitudinal survey on interfaith attitudes on campus.
- Faith-based student-led organizations from many traditions, including BUCatholic, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hillel, Muslim Student Association and Better Together.