As students prepare to return to campus for the first time since mid-March, they find themselves facing more unknowns than usually accompany a new academic year. Additionally, opening the campus presents challenges for staff and faculty. In order to help transition back to Loras, the Spiritual Life Division offers a slate of presentations and resources both inside and outside the classroom.
“Spiritual Life is here to accompany students as well as faculty and staff, walking together to navigate the complexities of the world and the deep questioning and fears that may be arising at this time,” Stacia McDermott (‘03), director of Spiritual Life and Peace & Justice, explained. “Although our outreach may look differently this year, we want our campus community to know that we are adapting and changing to meet the current needs. This might manifest in being a resource in the classroom, offering more opportunities for creative prayer forms, or meeting one on one. Regardless of where people are on their faith journey, our staff is humbled to listen and share in the joys and challenges of life.”
With a pandemic continuing to move across the nation, the support services being put forth focus on a wide range of areas. Students and faculty will have the ability to navigate through their concerns by focusing on spirituality & stress, engagement through interfaith leadership, and learning meditation, mindfulness and other prayer forms.
Another area of uncertainty comes from civil unrest that is affecting numerous communities. Spiritual Life is offering instruction and guidance on social justice, religion and worldview trends and how to cultivate peace with others and the world.
“As a Catholic institution, it is vital that human dignity is upheld at every level. That includes playing an active role to eliminate racism and any form of discrimination that impacts a person’s dignity. Catholic social teaching reminds us that our efforts should be directed at structures and systems as well as our personal biases and failures to love,” McDermott said.
Spiritual Life has reached out to faculty and staff already and will continue to do so as the semester unfolds. Whether through classrooms or in individual meetings, support will be available to all on campus who feel the need for additional spiritual support and companionship.