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Religious & Spiritual Life


 Impacts And Resources related to the Ending of DACA 


This past year there have been a series of Executive Orders and changes that impact students who identify as international, immigrant, Muslim, undocumented, and DACAmented. The University enrolls, welcomes, and supports all of its members, and will continue to provide services and resources to all members of our community to support their ongoing success.

As Chancellor Chopp stated in a message to the DU community, the University will continue to provide access to legal counsel through Catholic Charities to help members of our community impacted by the recent decision to end DACA. This includes the opportunity to meet individually with an immigration attorney in a confidential off-campus setting. To access a voucher to utilize these services please contact the University Chaplain, or visit the Center for Multicultural Excellence or VIP.

We have limited funds available through the Student Emergency Fund to assist any student facing an immediate financial hardship. 



 Hear? See? Speak!


No Evil

       Yesterday I was having lunch with a group of fellow clergy-folk, but from different traditions (Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian). While the topic of conversation was NOT sermon-giving, during the course of the conversation the subject came up. We pretty much all agreed on two (dirty-little-clergy-secret) points: (1) most clergy only have one or two sermons; we just work to repackage them for different occasions; and (2) most clergy preach to themselves, that is, telling themselves what they need to hear (and hoping the some in the congregation will identify). Put those two points together, and it would appear that we need to tell ourselves the same thing over and over again.
       And I was reminded of an old joke about a congregation that had called a new pastor. The first time the clergy-person preached, the sermon was well-received and compliments were bestowed. The following week there was a bit of consternation on the part of the congregation when they heard the same sermon! But many attributed it to the new pastor's being busy getting oriented, and not having time to prepare a new sermon. But, the following week, when they heard the same sermon for the third time, some of the congregation's leaders went to the preacher and said, "We've noticed that you've preached the same sermon three times in a row. That was not quite what we expected when we hired you. Can you explain?" The preacher responded, "Well, in the sermon I suggested that there might need to be some changes in y'all's behavior. I haven't noticed any improvement, so I had to assume that no one really listened, and I needed to repeat myself."
       It seems to me that, over the last weeks and months, we've been hearing the same stories over and over again. The two themes that have been most prevalent have been gun violence -- in particular mass shootings, and sexual predation/harassment. I really cannot imagine any "normal" person would think that either of these two horrors is anything BUT horrible. But we hear about them over and over again, and little seems to change. Indeed, on some (high-profile) fronts, retrenchment and/or dismissal seem to be some of the most prevalent responses.
       An only-slightly-less-problematic response is the now-cliched "Our thoughts and prayers are with . . . ". I can't help but see that response as a cop-out: "I don't really want to do anything, or take any responsibility, so I'll make it all God's issue." I have significant theological issues with that statement, since I don't believe in a thunder-bolt-throwing deity. On the contrary, the religious traditions I know suggest that humans have responsibility to right wrongs.
       That means us, people! When we see evil, we must speak. When we hear evil, we must speak. Over and over and over, and loudly and loudly and loudly. But we must do more . . . WE MUST ACT. And, if we don't, we're complicit. And we need to hear that sermon over and over.



PS: If you would like to comment on this reflection, please surf on over to my blog "On a Bike and a Prayer" at