A Message from the President - April 2014
Month of Faith and Service
On April 9, Santa Clara University hosts founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, Eboo Patel, for the President’s Speaker Series. I became interested in Mr. Patel when at a President’s Staff meeting we read and discussed portions of his book, Acts of Faith. The book tells the story of how he grew into his own faith and discovered that interfaith cooperation, religious pluralism and the passion of young people make for fertile ground for positive and profound change. By learning to live, work and serve with members of other faiths and traditions, Patel tells us that our own faith deepens. Santa Clara University, with its open and inclusive approach to faith and education in the heart of Silicon Valley, is a true testbed for such endeavors.
April is a timely month to host Mr. Patel. The month is rich with diverse religious symbols, traditions, and rituals. Our Jewish brethren celebrate Passover April 15-22 and recall the exodus from slavery into freedom, and Christians journey through Lent towards renewal in the Risen Christ on Easter, April 20. The symbolism of renewal, transformation, and movement towards positive change can inspire all of us, regardless of whether we identify ourselves as members of a particular faith or established religion. No matter our spiritual beliefs we can experience transformation.
April is also the Month of Service for our alumni network. As Mr. Patel notes, service to others in need is often the touchstone for transformation. I hope that you find renewal in whatever way you are drawn - through family traditions, religious practices, personal reflections or service opportunities in your community this April.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.