Santa Clara University

Religious Studies department
Catholic Worlds of Silicon Valley

The Valley of the Gods series works with local community leaders to explore the diverse religious landscape of Silicon Valley.  The 2007 program turns our attention to the vibrant and varied lives of Catholics in the Valley. 


The brainchild of Fr. Tennant Wright, S.J., of Santa Clara University Religious Studies Department, the 2007 program was built off this insight into religion: We tend to generalize about religion, thinking of it as an ‘-ism.’ The problem is that there is no Catholicism apart from the Catholics who live, think about and serve their faith in a particular place and time. 


Each week Catholic Worlds of the Valley features a leader from one of the Valley’s many Catholic worlds--ethnic churches, Diocesan offices, schools, prison ministry, lay organizations, gay and lesbian communities, etc.  To develop this roster of “worlds,” Fr. Wright worked from an address book that reflects his 40+ years of teaching and ministering in the Valley. 


Silicon Valley has one of the most diverse religiously landscapes in the world,” according to Prof. Philip Boo Riley, Local Religion Project director “One of the great things about the roster Fr. Wright assembled is the way it illustrates the diversity within that diversity.” 


Instead of lectures, each week Fr. Wright will engage leaders from different organization in conversation about “the experiences, questions, passions” that shape their engagement with one of the worlds making up the Valley’s multifaceted Catholic faith community.


Students from Fr. Wright’s new course, “Catholic Worlds of the Valley,” will attend the ten public sessions.  Afterwards, the students will meet as a seminar with participants to discuss the sketch of local catholicismS they will be developing throughout the quarter.  


The Local Religion Project documents the communities and organizations it studies with multimedia “portraits.” For this program, undergraduate research assistants will weave together videotaped segments from each of the ten conversations, on-site interviews with community members, and research on topics presented in the series to create a composite documentary, Catholic Worlds of the Valley,  which will be distributed in Fall 2007.

Sessions are open to the public, free of charge.

For further information, please contact the Local Religion Project office 408-553-9961 or send an e-mail to  For a detailed schedule, please visit the Catholic Worlds website,


 This series is sponsored by Local Religion Project and Religious Studies Department, with financial assistance from SCU’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. 

Catholic Worlds of the Silicon Valley

Valley of the Gods 2007


Wednesdays, 4-5:00 p.m.

Daly Science 206


Santa Clara University


April   4     Liberal Catholic Liturgical and Educational Group     
Kay Williams and other members, Thomas Merton Committee


          11     Some Views of Catholic Activities in the San Jose Diocese
Anne Grycz, Director, Diocesan Institute for Leadership in Ministry


          18     Nativity School
Peter Pabst, SJ, Nativity School, leader in special education


          25     Lay Catholic Church Action
Ellen and Ray Turner, leaders of "Call to Action"                  


May   2     Catholic Home Schooling
Craig Anderson, leader in the Home Schooling movement, with Steve and Hannah, parent and daughter in home schooling 


            9     Vietnamese Catholics
John Hien Vu, leader among Vietnamese Catholics, with The Hoang and Anthony Pham         


          16     Traditional New Movements
Paula Bardell, member of "Regnum Christi" and an expert in traditional or conservative new movements in the Catholic Church                                        


          23     Prison Ministry
Marilu Eder, San Jose diocesan director of prison ministry 


          30     Gay/Lesbian Community
John Gronley and Mike Phillips, members of the Emmaus Community

June   6     Latino Community
Deacon Sal Alvarez, long a leader in the Catholic Latino community, dealing with immigration problems        


Valley of the Gods 2007


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