A New Club Welcomes the Discussion of Faith
By Kyra Krzywicki – Staff Writer
A new club on campus will give students interested in exploring faith-based questions the opportunity to have discussions and build community with their peers.
The Faith and Reason Club, founded last semester by Christopher Hauser, who has a doctorate in philosophy, and recent graduate Meg McGrath, will continue to meet this fall to discuss questions pertaining to faith through books, videos, speakers and more.
The club was created during last year’s senior philosophy class for the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Program, or SJLA.
Kelly Parker, a senior occupational therapy major and treasurer of the club, said she is looking forward to helping students find answers to their questions and like-minded friends.
“The goal of it is to create a space where people are encouraged to ask questions about their religion and find answers for themselves because I think that’s how you deepen your relationship with religion – to be able to come to the answers on your own and actively seek those . . . tough questions that you don’t really feel comfortable asking but are important. I think it will be a lot of fun,” Parker said.
Parker said her own experience was motivation for helping create this space for others to question and explore.
“I would have loved this my freshman year because it’s natural to struggle with your faith journey and things like that, but I would have loved to have a community where I could go to and just talk about things where it felt comfortable to question because I think that’s important,” Parker said.
Meg McGrath, founder of the club and recent graduate, said the inspiration behind the club came from this longing for community as well.
“One of the things I mentioned to [Dr. Hauser] one day was feeling like I go to a Catholic school, but I feel like I just don’t have a community of people who I can feel like I can really connect with . . . It just took me a little bit to get there . . . We just kind of came together with this idea to have like a space where people could come to find that community if they felt like they had a harder time getting it,” McGrath said.
Christopher Hauser, assistant professor of philosophy and the club’s faculty moderator, was in a similar group when he was a student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
“I used to be a part of a group like this when I was a college student, and it was meaningful. I would love to help start something like that as a new faculty member,” Hauser said.
Hauser said his time in the club helped him develop friendships with older peers.
“For me, part of what was really special is as a first year, second year student, it was a way to meet older students who had gone through their four years here, who were still serious about their faith and their religious worldview and who were willing to mentor us younger students and bring us into that community,” Hauser said.
The club is primarily geared toward discussion, but Hauser said he plans on gauging student interest in creating published works based on these discussions.
“I’m open to seeing what the students want to do. If they want to do something where we create a publication, a blog is an easy way to start,” Hauser said.
Worried you must be a theology or philosophy major to join the club? No need to fear!
“I certainly think we’ll always have some people coming from philosophy and theology, but the goal is to really make it a place for anybody,” Hauser said.
The club will meet Fridays at 4 p.m. in 412 St. Thomas Hall.
If you are interested in joining the club, email President Claire Sunday Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org, Vice President Julia Turnak Julia.email@example.com, Secretary Sinéad Girdusky Sinead.firstname.lastname@example.org, Treasurer Kelly Parker Kelly.email@example.com, or Christopher Hauser, Ph.D. Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.