A New Year’s Resolution for Interfaith Dialoguing

By Kara Callahan

I was thrilled about all of the different beginnings that were heading my way as I entered college. I was eager for the self-discovery and growth I would encounter at the start of my freshmen year. For the past eighteen years, I had been a stranger to change. Nothing could have prepared me for all the “beginnings” young adults experience when they go away from home.

I come from a suburb of Chicago that is populated with like-minded people. My town is filled with a high percentage of people who identify as Christians. I have always loved my home, but I was not fond of the lack of religious diversity because I had always been strongly interested in different religions. At home, it was hard for me to expand myself spiritually with a lack of resources.

Up until college, I had little to no experience with other religions. I identify as a practicing Catholic and I like to view religion holistically. When I arrived at DePaul, I knew I wanted to utilize the different resources to educate myself on other religions since this element was previously absent in my life. I attended a few different events first quarter regarding religious diversity. These events provided me with insight that aided me in discovering more about my own views. As cliché as it may sound, I have learned so much in a short amount of time about my own views just by trying new things!

In a lot of ways, the new year can feel just like the start of a new school year. It is a chance we are given to make changes, have a fresh start, and develop new perspectives. Because of my experiences during fall quarter, I have decided that my new year’s resolution is to attend a religious event or meeting for every religious group on campus to continue to develop my own spirituality and to support others on their spiritual journeys — and even if their journeys look different from my own. I am looking forward to going to different events because the ones I attended this past quarter were eye-opening!

I would encourage everybody and anybody to try attending any different kind of event to learn more about your beliefs. DePaul is such a special environment because the institution promotes partaking in interfaith dialogue and respectful intellectual conversations. Differences are embraced and seen as something positive, as something that unites people. I am passionate about striving to get more involved in the interfaith community at DePaul and hope to continue my spiritual journey into the new year. I urge others to do the same.