Following the Franciscan tradition of seeking common ground with people of other faiths, the Alvernia Interfaith Pillar strives to instill the resources for welcoming an inclusive dialog to promote interfaith conversations on campus. These interfaith conversations occur on campus through collaborations across the university and within the Reading community along with special programming throughout the year.
Celebration of Faith Event
Celebration of Faith is a daylong interfaith festival that takes place in the spring semester. As Alvernia increasingly grows in diversity and acceptance, we feel it is essential to have active roles in bridging the gaps between different faith backgrounds and perspectives inside and outside the classroom.
It is a two-part event organized by students to raise awareness and understanding about the diversity of faiths within our community.
Interfaith Coffee Hour
Interfaith Coffee Hour takes place twice a month in the Wolves Den. It is a place where we can talk about our questions or opinions on spirituality in a safe space. People of all faiths (or no faith) are welcome to come and share their thoughts (or just listen).
A Common Heart Program
A Common Heart was created by three congregations, St. Benedict’s Roman Catholic Church, Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom, and the Islamic Center of Reading, with the support of Alvernia University and Reading Berks Conference of Churches, for the mutual goal of understanding and appreciation for the three Abrahamic faiths.
Interfaith Pillar Student leadership
Interfaith Leadership Pillar holds bi-weekly meetings in the Prayer and Reflection room in the Library. If you are interested in working on interfaith activities on campus, please contact us to join the meetings.
Class visits by the Interfaith Chaplain
To foster a greater understanding and appreciation of other religious cultures and traditions, our Interfaith Chaplain gives presentations in the classroom
Off Campus Programming:
The Interfaith pillar hosts a hike during the Fall Semester to give the Alvernia community an opportunity to connect with nature on a spiritual level with people from all faiths. Lunch is included.
Every Spring we visit a local mosque to learn and experience the culture of different Muslim communities. There will be a presentation about Islam followed by a delicious ethnic dinner!
Visit Ehab Shalom for an Annual Passover Seder Meal
Passover is the Jewish Spring festival commemorating the liberation of Jews by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses. The Seder meal is a ritual service and ceremonial dinner for the first night or first two nights of Passover.
Alvernia’s Interfaith Pillar takes part every year by joining the Reform Congregation Oheb Shalom for the First Night Community Seder.
Attending local Interfaith events
Respect Graduate School (Bethlehem)
Ramadan Dinner at the Islamic Center of Reading
In addition to our regular programming, we are always looking for more opportunities to engage our students in Interfaith activities on campus and with the wider community.