September 7, 2000

From: Evelyn Coupe
Loyola Blakefield High School
Towson, Maryland

Dear Father Clooney:

I apologize for the fact that it has taken me so long to answer your request. I was out of town throughout the summer and the rush of the beginning of the school year has kept me very busy. I was thrilled to receive your letter and to see the goals that have been set forth. We have been seriously discussing a World Religions Class in our department for sometime. Last year, two of us, Pat Maggio and I, used the book "Siddhartha" as a stepping stone for studying world religions. Through film and class discussions we introduced the students to Hinduism and Buddhism. We showed a documentary on the Dalai Lama and the issues concerning Tibet. It was the beginning of what we hope will become, a reality in the future. Approximately, 1/3 of our student body is not Catholic. Our school tends to be fairly traditional Catholic school.

Currently, we do not have a course that is strictly dedicated to world religions. Our schedules are cramped and we are lucky to have the courses we offer. It is however, our dream to begin a world religions program and we will begin this year discussing the possibility of it happening at staff meetings.

We are blessed to have St. Mary's Seminary nearby. The seminary has just begun with the help of a grant from the Lilly Foundation an honors religion course for juniors. Students from all over the Baltimore area were selected to attend the course. It is ecumenical in nature and includes course work, community service and a trip to Israel. Three of our boys are attending that program.

We do have a Department of Diversity at our school, it is headed by Rob Costante. Rob comes into the junior courses and speaks on a series of diverse issues. As far as the department, the best possible contacts are myself, and Mr. Pat Maggio. I hope that this letter answers your questions and I do look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Sincerely, Evelyn Coupe Religious Studies Department Co-Chair

Created: October 4, 2000 Updated: October 4, 2000