October 3, 2017

October 3, 2017

Center for Campus Ministry E-News for October 3, 2017

October is the Month of the Rosary

Center for Ministry

Center for Campus Ministry E-News for October 3, 2017

What's Happening in Campus Ministry this Week?



October is the Month of the Rosary

Volunteer Opportunities in the Chapel

Volunteers Needed for Kairos Retreat

ICC Annual Lecture: Tuesday, October 10


The Power of Questions

By Rabbi Alan Shavit-Lonstein

 The story is told of Isidor I. Rabi, the 1944 Nobel Prize winner in physics. He was once asked, "Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer, like the other kids in your neighborhood?"

His answer contains deep, yet simple wisdom.

"My mother made me a scientist. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: 'So? Did you learn anything today?' Not my mother. She always asked me a different question. 'Izzy,' she would say, 'did you ask a good question today?' That difference made me a scientist."

Asking good questions is a big part of what motivates me as a rabbi, it is central to the Jewish view of interacting with the Divine, and can make all the difference in your education. As one of the new associate chaplains at University of St. Thomas, I would like to share the importance of questions with you.

First, a bit about me. My family is originally from South Africa, which is where I was born. However, I was raised just across the river in a suburb of Minneapolis. I studied at Washington University in St. Louis, and worked as a magazine editor for several years in Chicago before going to rabbinical school in New York. I have worked for a few synagogues, and now, in addition to my role at UST, I work at an Apple store with the Genius team, and run my own interfaith center (By The Rivers: A Multi-Faith Life Cycle and Learning Center) a few miles from campus.

The freedom to ask questions, and the connections they can bring are central to my Jewish identity. I was raised and educated in a strong Jewish home, and found my interest and commitment to tradition deepening while at college. The rabbis and teachers inspired me with examples of Jewish tradition's focus on asking questions. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks puts it well:

Judaism is the rarest of phenomena: a faith based on asking questions, sometimes deep and difficult ones that seem to shake the very foundations of faith itself. "Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justice?" asked Abraham. "Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people?" asked Moses. "Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?" asked Jeremiah. The book of Job is largely constructed out of questions, and God's answer consists of four chapters of yet deeper questions: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? ... Can you catch Leviathan with a hook?"


Questions can build religious connections across traditions. When asked properly, questions lead to more questions. Questions are dynamic and alive, and keep up with personal growth and changing understanding of the world. Questions are not a challenge to faith, they are the framework on which we build our faith.

The same is true in academics. Asking questions is the difference between engaging in the material rather than just receiving it, it is what separates learning from memorizing, and understanding from regurgitation. The questions you ask are on the minds of your classmates and the questions you don't ask are a missed opportunity for growth.

In your year ahead, will you ask good questions?


Commemorating the Reformation with New Eyes

This Saturday, October 7th, Do Not miss the opportunity to join in this morning conference, which will take a look back to the  events that led to the beginning of the Reformation 500 years ago and the steps taken to reestablish communion among the churches as part of the ecumenical development of the last five decades.   REGISTER SOON!

October Month of Rosary

Join other students every Monday of October to pray the Holy Rosary at the Peace Garden at 7 p.m. Do not miss this opportunity to pray together as we pray for different intentions throughout the Month and unite with the local church this month as the Archdiocese is consecrated to Our Lady.

All are welcome!

*Rainsite will be Florance Chapel

Sponsored by the Office for Spirituality

Volunteer for this year's Kairos Retreat!

Campus Ministry is currently looking for volunteers for the upcoming Kairos Retreat, which will take place November 3rd - November 5th.

We are especially looking for people who have been on a Kairos retreat before, but all are welcome. Volunteer roles that need to be filled range from speakers to game leaders, and include everything in between!

If you would like to volunteer, you have a question that you would like to ask, please contact Graduate Retreat Assistant, Daniel Furey, at fure5812@stthomas.edu.

ICC Annual Lecture: Tuesday, October 10