UVic celebrates relationship with faith communities with renewed agreement

Multifaith services chaplains gather for the signing of the renewed agreement. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Forty years after a joint chaplaincy was established at the University of Victoria with three faith communities, the university’s Multifaith Services celebrated the enduring value of these evolving and diverse relationships with the signing of a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Jan. 18.

Representatives of 11 faith communities signed the renewed MOU at a ceremony at UVic’s Interfaith Chapel. The signatories represented the Anglican, Baha'i, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian Science, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Unitarian and United Church communities.

“I would like to thank the chaplains and their faith communities for their long-standing and ongoing commitment to the spiritual health and education of students, faculty and staff at the University of Victoria,” says President Jamie Cassels. “Their contributions of time and resources, as well as their encouragement and involvement in thoughtful reflection and dialogue, have a significant and positive impact on our university community.”

Special guest Bishop Remi De Roo, retired Canadian Roman Catholic Bishop of Victoria, spoke about the history of UVic and the faith communities. The original MOU was signed in 1977 between UVic and the Catholic, Anglican and United Churches, which had established a joint ministry at UVic in the late 1960s to provide pastoral care to the entire university community.

“The MOU reflects the university’s understanding of the important role of spirituality in student health and wellness, as well as the diversity of our campus community,” says Rita Knodel, director of counselling services and multifaith services.

Multifaith Services provides religious support and spiritual care for interested students, staff and faculty, including pastoral counselling, prayer and meditation groups, learning circles, religious education, retreats and workshops on a variety of topics.

The Interfaith Chapel, designed by architect John D. DiCastri, opened in 1985 to provide a place of celebration and meditation for all faiths. Multifaith Services is now located in the Interfaith Chapel building.

Upcoming Multifaith Services event:

Sunday, Feb. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m.: Creating Our Future: Visioning a Sustainable, Compassionate Future at David Lam Auditorium, MacLaurin Building, UVic. With Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, eight presenters from various world faiths, storyteller Shoshana Litman, displays, singing and refreshments. 

More info

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Media contacts

Rita Knodel (Counselling Services/Multifaith Services) at 250-721-8341 or rknodel@uvic.ca

Melanie Groves (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-472-4357 or mgroves@uvic.ca

In this story

Keywords: community, religion, Multifaith Services, Student Affairs

People: Rita Knodel, Remi De Roo, John D. DiCatri, Jamie Cassels

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